|Tupulo and bald cypress.|
|Craning our necks to take in the impressive height of the trees.|
|Cely's map with the park ranger’s color-coded annotations was priceless for exploring Congaree.|
|Harry Hampton Cypress tree with 7 foot tall “knee”|
|No wet feet for us!|
A few rain sprinkles didn’t amount to much and it was warm enough to sit out in the dark- incredibly lucky for November. We listened to crickets and owls, and watched the glowworms for several hours after the sun went down. The temperatures plummeted overnight but at least it cleared up for a view of the moon.
|Sunrise over the Congaree River|
While two days allowed us to do many of the trails, Congaree is definitely a place I'd love to explore more in the future and it'd be great to go back with a canoe or kayak.
|Beech providing some lovely fall color.|
-We hiked the 2.5 mile boardwalk, Oakridge Trail (some of the largest trees were here), and Kingsnake Trails (lots of solitude). These established trails are highly recommended, adequately blazed and signed at all junctions. Bushwhacking was even more fun, but be sure to be come prepared with compass, navigational skills, and gaiters.
-If you go, call ahead because several times a year the area floods so trails can be underwater or muddy.
-Get a free permit for backcountry camping and stop by the visitor’s center to buy John Cely’s detailed map (note it is not waterproof so bring a large ziplock to keep it dry).
**Special thanks to some of the Nature Ramblers for recommending Congaree to me and for the tip about John Cely’s Map***