Greetings from Congaree National Park

On a circuitous drive from OH to FL in Oct 2023, I took a side trip to Congaree NP for a day of hiking. Congaree is one of the less visited parks and I got there fairly early, so really enjoyed the scarcity of other hikers. I did the boardwalk trail, which had a nice map with numbered markers for the sites to see; including the world’s tallest loblolly pine tree (169 ft). I also did the wider loop that connects to the boardwalk. At a point I heard some rustling in the undergrowth and saw two medium sized dark shapes less than 100 feet from me - bear cubs I wondered? But was pretty sure the park was too swampy to host black bears. Then I saw the bigger black and white shape - wild hog? But it looked more like a pig. I also saw a very cool fox with a dingy white coat. After my hike, the park rangers confirmed the presence of wild hogs that resembled domesticated pigs. I asked the rangers if they had to “manage” the hog situation. Yes, and the park was closing early the next day to do just that. We who visit the parks, appreciate all the work staff does, including tasks that probably are not your favorite - like keeping a wild hog population under control. Thanks!


Congaree National Park

Wild and primeval, Congaree National Park is home to the largest old-growth floodplain forest in North America, with large, majestic bald cypress, water tupelo, cedar and loblolly pine trees. The Congaree and Wateree Rivers can flood ten times per year, replenishing soil nutrients that sustain the forest habitat. The park offers hiking and canoe trails, primitive camping, and excellent opportunities to see barred owls and other wildlife.

State(s): South Carolina

Established: 1976

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