USA October 25, 2019
The One National Park You’ve Probably Never Heard Of But Need To Visit
Last year, America’s national parks received more than 330 million visitors, with places like the Blue Ridge Parkway and Golden Gate National Recreation Area seeing roughly 15 million visitors. With more well-known destinations welcoming millions of adventurers, you may be wondering which national parks are better to visit if you’re looking to beat the crowds. Let’s head to South Carolina to uncover a hidden gem of the National Parks System that only had 160,000 visitors during all of last year.
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 a year, Congaree National Park can be found just a half-hour outside of the city of Columbia in South Carolina.
Established as a national park for 15 years now, Congaree is the only national park that you'll find within the Palmetto State, and it's free to visit.
With more than half of the park's land designated as wilderness area, you'll find well-preserved pieces of nature hiding out here in the forest.
Congaree National Park has over 20 miles of hiking trails, but the most famous area to hike through is along the 2.4-mile-long Boardwalk Loop Trail.
Taking you past waterfront views, the trail features the largest group of old growth bottomland hardwood forest that you'll find in North America.
The average height of Congaree National Park's canopy is 100 feet tall, with unique-looking cypress knees decorated all along the forest floor.
From the tops of the trees to the bottom of the floodplain, you can find all sorts of wildlife everywhere you look. You'll want to keep an eye out for things like wild pigs and armadillo.
As you're making your way through the park you might notice visitors floating their way through the Congaree River, a popular place to go canoeing and kayaking.
Because the park features a floodplain forest, you'll sometimes find that the boardwalks here may be flooded, making for a unique walk through the woods.
With head-turning wildlife and some of tallest trees in the Eastern United States, don't let another year go by without exploring one of our country's most underrated national parks!
Before you begin your adventure at Congaree National Park it's always a good idea to stop by the Visitors Center. Open every day of the week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except when closed on federal holidays), the Visitors Center has plenty of maps and restrooms that you can use during operating hours.
To learn more about why Congaree National Park is so amazing, click here.
Did you know that this place existed? To discover another lesser-known national park, read about
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