Cedar Creek is located within the Congaree National Park. 100 National Park Rd., Hopkins, S.C., 803-776-4396, nps.gov/cong/index.htm Canoe through primeval forests, watch rare synchronized fireflies or … Congaree has a lot going for it: a 26,000-acre forest that’s an International Biosphere Reserve, a Globally Important Bird Area, and a National Natural Landmark. Congaree National Park Richland County, S.C. Congaree doesn’t experience the same fluctuations in visitor attendance as some other parks. Bring bug spray, during the warmer months the mosquitos can become quite bad.The Harry Hampton Visitor Center has a gauge on the wall showing the current mosquito activity, it ranges from “All Clear” to “War Zone”. A designated Fireflies Trail is created to protect firefly habitat and to offer visitors unobstructed views of the fireflies. Immagine di Congaree National Park, Hopkins: Congaree National Park, SC -Mosquito Meter - Guarda i 657 video e foto amatoriali dei membri di Tripadvisor su Congaree National Park. We would love to tell you that there is a better time to visit Congaree National Park than the spring. cypress forest and swamp of Congaree National Park in South Carolina. The park’s southern border runs along the Congaree River, with several smaller lakes, creeks, … Guided Kayak / Canoe Trip . If you’ll be camping in an RV, there are a few nearby state parks that have hookups for campers and trailers. My first day I did the boardwalk and Weston Lake Trail for a couple of hours. Note that almost 80% of the park is within the floodplain of the Congaree River, which means flooding occurs throughout the year (usually about ten times a year). The temperatures are warmer but not nearly as hot and humid as they are in the summer. The summer brings heat and mosquitoes. Mosquito Season Varies by Region. Congaree National Park | NPS. Reservations for the campgrounds must be made through Recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. "Congaree National Park is one of over 400 sites protected by the National Park Service. Mid-April seemed promising. Law enforcement rangers begin staying late on evenings to monitor the situation. Today's visit to Congaree National Park was a pleasant surprise. Trees of all types tower above and a life-providing musty stench fills the air even in the dry, cool season. Congaree National Park is a 26,276-acre (41.1 sq mi; 106.3 km 2) American national park in central South Carolina.The park received its official designation in 2003 as the culmination of a grassroots campaign that began in 1969. During this time visitors can experience an awe-inspiring display of synchronous flashing while the fireflies search for a mate. Congaree National Park, which is located in the north central part of South Carolina, is not an easy park to get to. is a swamp in the middle of South Carolina. The flights from our hometown to Charleston were affordably priced and April worked on our calendars, so we booked it. Extended hours are implemented for the Harry Hampton Visitor Center, which stayed open till 9:00pm for eleven days. After reading all of this, you may decide to conclude that the best time to visit this park is anytime that you can manage to go. After parking the 5er and truck in their spacious big rig parking lot, we walked up to the large visitor’s center. Additional pictures of Boardwalk Loop Trail: Beautiful Rivers at Congaree National Park It is said that Francis Marion, “The Swamp Fox” hid from British in these forests. Congaree National Park is amongst a humid subtropical climate. Congaree National Park: Amazing Park - See 522 traveler reviews, 646 candid photos, and great deals for Hopkins, SC, at Tripadvisor. Important note for daytime visitors during warmer seasons is to pay attention to the mosquito meter as the mosquitos in the park can be very extreme. Mosquito Meter in old visitor center. TOTAL 40 /80 USA-C2C.com is an independent website, not affiliated in any way with the National Park Service, the National Parks Foundation or any of their partners. Capturing fireflies is not allowed within Congaree National Park. Yellowstone is one of the best national parks to visit with kids. Park staff, volunteers and community partners conduct parking operations to assist visitors with parking along the Entrance Road. Bring bug spray, during the warmer months the mosquitos can become quite bad.The Harry Hampton Visitor Center has a gauge on the wall showing the current mosquito activity, it ranges from “All Clear” to “War Zone”. The closest major city is Columbia, about 20 miles northwest of Congaree. Hopkins, SC Wear sturdy, close-toed shoes (roots and biting insects may be present). There aren't any major roads that lead directly to it and to make matters more difficult, there isn't any camping to speak of in the park. https://www.charlotteparent.com/three-must-visit-national-parks-near-charlotte Come join us on this guided trip as we paddle Cedar Creek and explore the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the Southeastern US. Hopkins, SC – Congaree National Park, located about 30 minutes east of Columbia, South Carolina is home to the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States.Waters from the Congaree and Wateree Rivers sweep through the floodplain, carrying nutrients and sediments that nourish and rejuvenate this ecosystem and support the growth … Participants are asked to observe the following viewing etiquette: Keep noise levels to a minimum so that everyone can enjoy this special natural occurrence. The boardwalk trail is an easy 2.4 mile walk through a small portion of Congaree National Park. The park preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States. I am incredibly allergic to mosquito bites so I was a bit nervous heading out into forest, but felt slightly more at-ease when I saw their Mosquito Meter set to a bearable low level. We carefully monitored the water level gauges for the river height the whole time, but we did not catch a break there. Things to Know before you go to Congaree National Park. The park is also the domain of river otters, bobcats and (mostly) nonvenomous snakes. Congaree National Park,Part of gallery of color pictures of US National Parks by professional photographer QT Luong, available as prints or for licensing. Congaree National Park. When we visited Congaree National Park, we did so on an airline voucher through Frontier. However, as we found out, there are no guarantees when it comes to the weather – and you may still have to rearrange plans due to flooding. Congaree National Park is a lush backcountry inhabited by bobcats, deer, and playful river otters. 55 reviews of Congaree National Park "I don't know why this park gets such a bad review - in TripAdviser it gets 4- 5-star ratings. ... sticky, mosquito-infested mire that few people would want to visit. However, it is an excellent introduction to the park as it takes you deep into the swampy and cypress forest. The mosquito meter at the visitor center ranges from “1 - All Clear” to “6 - War Zone!” You can find the war zone during summer months. Vehicles of backcountry campers must be parked at the parking lot located at that site. It would not have been possible to do so in the afternoon though as another thunderstorm came through the area. Most visitors are from the local area. The first day of our visit, it was not possible to get around the entire boardwalk loop trail due to the flooding. We only had half a day to explore the park, but the cypress trees were beautiful and with the light from the sky, it was almost like a cathedral. The Congaree National Park. During this time visitors can experience an awe-inspiring display of synchronous flashing while the fireflies search for a mate. Park staff create a roadside pedestrian walkway and institutes full traffic control operations to prevent vehicle-pedestrian encounters. The Boardwalk is necessary because, though I was there in December 2011. Congaree National Park is amongst a humid subtropical climate. The Longleaf camp area has porta potties, fire rings, and picnic tables. There is an average of six days of rain in the month – the least of the year. The park’s southern border runs along the Congaree River, with several smaller lakes, creeks, … Camping in Congaree National Park. Because of the large numbers of participants expected for this event, the following are prohibited on the Fireflies Trail: Applying insect repellant (please apply prior to arriving at the park). Visitor Center hours are extended to 10:00pm nightly and the Fireflies Festival becomes a ten day event. The closest major city is Columbia, about 20 miles northwest of Congaree. 55 reviews of Congaree National Park "I don't know why this park gets such a bad review - in TripAdviser it gets 4- 5-star ratings. Congaree N.P. is a swamp in the middle of South Carolina. - See 522 traveler reviews, 646 candid photos, and great deals for Hopkins, SC, at Tripadvisor. You can retreat here all year long. Without the super canopy loblolly pine, an index of 142.4 would result, which is pretty darn good for a flat site in "hurricane alley". Tent campers can also get a permit for backcountry camping, where you can choose a campsite of your liking nearly anywhere in the park.. The problem for our trip, as it turned out, was that there was a substantial amount of rainfall in reality that month. We will take a look at the reasons here. The best time to visit depends upon you. The Fireflies Festival was a one day event. Congaree National Park: unusual - See 532 traveler reviews, 669 candid photos, and great deals for Hopkins, SC, at Tripadvisor. Don’t forget to stop by the Harry Hampton Visitor Center to find maps, snacks, and souvenirs. The five islands that comprise the national park that started out in 1938 as a national monument long have lured the curious, industrious, and adventurous. We decided the mosquitoes probably weren't that bad given the recent rains and cooler temps (upper 80's that day). Congaree National Park is a 26,276-acre American national park in central South Carolina. Astonishing biodiversity exists in Congaree National Park, the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States. Planning a trip to Congaree National Park in South Carolina? This is a decent time to plan to go to the park, and should overall present a better experience for those looking to avoid the summer heat or winter floods. When we are planning our national park adventures, we usually aim for a time when we can expect decent weather. The best time is usually April or May, but that did not work out for us. So, if you have kids, take advantage of summer break and explore this national park as a family. Congaree National Park: Big trees, big swamp, big skeeters - See 532 traveler reviews, 669 candid photos, and great deals for Hopkins, SC, at Tripadvisor. Reports of habitat disturbance and frequent visitor complaints about the noise and light pollution from other visitors are recorded. Congaree National Park has two campgrounds, although both are meant for tent camping only. Every year, Congaree National Park hosts synchronous fireflies for approximately two weeks between mid-May and mid-June. Congaree National Park is a 27,000 acre park located in Hopkins, South Carolina. Summer – Visitor attendance is slightly higher in the summer than the winter. Although you can visit during any season, the best time to go is spring and fall because the weather is best. The level of mosquitoes is usually lower as well. Paramedics are on duty for the entire event. Park successfully pilots a shuttle program with COMET during Memorial Day Weekend to bring visitors into the park from the State Fair Grounds in Columbia. So here is our our view of the best months to visit Congaree National Park: Spring – April and May can be a great time to visit the park. But for a few weeks each year, the darkness is pierced by the synchronized flashing of tiny lightning bugs. I don’t recall any water spots to cool off in in park itself. Every year, Congaree National Park hosts synchronous fireflies for approximately two weeks between mid-May and mid-June. There was a very nice visitor center. On the morning of our second day, we managed to get through despite the minor flooding of the boardwalk in this area. A far cry from the stereotypical national park dominated by canyons, soaring mountains, and/or steaming geysers, Congaree is one of the most unique units in the entire National Park Service. Since mosquito activity is so closely linked to temperature, the actual mosquito season can vary greatly from one region to another — and even from one year to the next. Congaree is hot, humid, and just all around a moist and sticky place. A series of storms rolled through the area regularly two weeks before our trip, putting the river over or near the flood stages every day. Native peoples found the Channel Islands between 15,000-20,000 years ago, Spanish explorers landed here in the mid-1500s, and abalone harvesters and sheep and cattle ranchers arrived roughly 300 years later. Additionally, approximately 17,000 acres of the park are designated as official Wilderness Area. ... sticky, mosquito-infested mire that few people would want to visit. I was there in December 2011. Marie in Michigan! However as a regular national parks visitor, I knew I needed to visit Congaree, and my brother in Charleston, before I left town. My second day I walked the River Trail to the Congaree River, which was more about the walk than the view at the river. On Friday, we drove north to our 83rd National Park – Congaree. a standard approach for government agencies and partners to manage complex events (i.e. This is a photo of the start of the Kingsnake Trail from the Cedar Creek Canoe Launch during our April visit. On Friday, we drove north to our 83rd National Park – Congaree. Congaree National Park, Hopkins Picture: Mosquito - Warning Meter - Check out Tripadvisor members' 657 candid photos and videos. Seriously, if you don’t bring bug spray you’re going to be bummed. Sorry that there isn’t a better answer as to the right time to go! Spring and Fall would be ideal. I happened to be traveling through the area and saw the park on the map, so I stopped by for a quick visit. Congaree National Park, Hopkins Picture: mosquito - Check out Tripadvisor members' 671 candid photos and videos. Congaree National Park, Hopkins Picture: Mosquito Meter - Check out Tripadvisor members' 671 candid photos and videos. The Boardwalk is reserved for visitors with mobility issues. Congaree National Park has canceled the 2020 Fireflies Festival. Inside, the ranger was telling someone, over the phone, that they had about 3 more weeks of nice weather for visiting the park before the mosquito invasion. As you can see, there is limited hiking available when the park is flooded. If you are interested in volunteering at the 2020 Fireflies Festival please e-mail us. We have had to rearrange side trips because of weather before (we skipped our second attempt at Biscayne for Merritt Island and Canaveral National Seashore due to thunderstorms in Miami), but this was the first time that a trip had to be almost completely rearranged. The fall can be a good time too but that is Hurricane season. Note that almost 80% of the park is within the floodplain of the Congaree River, which means flooding occurs throughout the year (usually about ten times a year). In making the transformation, it became the newest national park east of the Mississippi. We were able to make it around the boardwalk loop trail from the visitor center but it would not have been possible for us to easily get through this mud. If you have a specific question not otherwise answered on this page, please e-mail us. ... During the rainy season, the zone gets flooded and becomes a swamp, this we saw on the pictures displayed on the park and the humidity we felt. So after working my way through Knoxville (Go Vols!) Fall – The lower temperatures here are balanced by the fact that it is still Hurricane season. Inside, the ranger was telling someone, over the phone, that they had about 3 more weeks of nice weather for visiting the park before the mosquito invasion. Congaree became a National Park in 2003, which would explain why I had not heard about it … If you are thinking about making Congaree your destination, you are probably wondering about the best time to visit this national park. Although you can visit during any season, the best time to go is spring and fall because the weather is best. Winter brings lower temperatures but is the most common for flooding. If you come in the late fall, winter and early spring you will miss the mosquitoes. The park is small, a little more … Congaree National Park Still wanting to refresh ourselves in Alex Springs, we said bye to Wardie and continue our journey to Georgia towards South Carolina. Congaree National Park was a pleasant surprise. Every year, Congaree National Park hosts synchronous fireflies for approximately two weeks between. The best time to view the fireflies is just after dark, usually between 9:00pm and 10:00pm. Winter brings lower temperatures but is the most common for flooding. 29061. Along the boardwalk, you'll be amazed at the size of the bald cypress trees and champion loblolly trees. The week before we arrived, there were just enough thunderstorms moving through the area to keep the water up. If you have a specific question not otherwise answered on this page, please, If you are interested in volunteering at the 2020 Fireflies Festival please, With over 2,000 species found world-wide, there are only three species of synchronous flashing fireflies that can be found in North America. There really is no right answer, as there are benefits and drawbacks to each season. Congaree National Park is a 27,000 acre park located in Hopkins, South Carolina. This was the south end of the loop by Weston Lake as we traveled west: The water was over portions of the boardwalk, as you can see from the below photo. Welcome to Congaree National Park! Other important information about the Congaree Fireflies Festival: Be prepared for the weather. Congaree N.P. An article in National Parks Traveler from 2010 called mid-April the “perfect time to enjoy Congaree”. Your localized Mosquito weather forecast, from AccuWeather, provides you with the tailored weather forecast that you need to plan your day's activities We went in not expecting too much and ended up coming out with a much appreciated knowledge of exactly how rare this area is today and why it has come up through the ranks of the Nation Park System. We saw a Snowy Owl outside Sault Ste. It was acquired at the end of June, for travel to be booked by September. Congaree National Park Don't ask me why, but we chose to walk through Congaree Swamp during mosquito season. Only use flashlights when absolutely necessary, pointing them straight down so as to not disturb other participants (Small penlights are recommended). Driving in these highways is really boring, the speed, lack of curves and view invite to sleep. For information on the scientific research of fireflies at Congaree National Park, be sure to visit the Old Growth Bottomland Forest Research and Education Center's fireflies page. Congaree NP feels outrageously out-of-place in all aspects when compared to other National Parks. And we knew that the mosquito situation was likely to be substantially better in the spring that the summer. I didn’t even know there was a National Park in South Carolina, but there is! We only had half a day to explore the park, but the cypress trees were beautiful and with the light from the sky, it was almost like a cathedral. May is the month for synchronized fireflies. Park staff begin noticing a marked increase in the numbers of visitors coming to the park to see the fireflies. And guess what? They are prevalent in the sunnier warmer season. Congaree National Park is easily one of the most underrated national parks on the east coast. People come to the park throughout the year, with just a slight preference for the spring with the highest attendance in March, April and May. We were partially right. Afternoon at Valley Forge National Historical Park in December 2017, We Bought Camping Air Pads to Review Next Year, Columbus Day Weekend in Acadia National Park, Two Days at Mammoth Cave National Park in September 2017, Our Day at Dry Tortugas NP via the Yankee Freedom III, Our June 2017 Stop in Everglades National Park, Visiting Colonial National Historical Park and Jamestown in June 2017, President Obama Designates Three National Monuments and Expands Two, President Obama Designates Two National Monuments, Our Christmas Eve Stop at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 2 Day November Fall Foliage Trip to Shenandoah National Park, 3 Days in Yellowstone National Park in May 2016. Congaree, less than 20 miles from Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, was turned into a national park from a national monument in 2003. At the end of 2019 I was preparing to make a move from Nashville to Las Vegas. Did you know that the Congaree National Park is South Carolina's only National Park? After parking the 5er and truck in their spacious big rig parking lot, we walked up to the large visitor’s center. 100 National Park Road At this point, we would not disagree with you. The mosquito meter at Congaree National Park warns visitors of severe conditions. Congaree National Park, Hopkins Picture: Congaree National Park, SC -Mosquito Meter - Check out Tripadvisor members' 689 candid photos and videos of Congaree National Park - See 524 traveller reviews, 652 candid photos, and great deals for Hopkins, SC, at Tripadvisor. If you're looking for a longer hike in Congaree National Park than just the Boardwalk Loop, try adding another 2.0 miles to the Boardwalk Loop by hiking the Weston Lake Trail. natural disasters, major events, etc.). Things to Know before you go to Congaree National Park. There are two designated campgrounds in Congaree National Park, Longleaf and Bluff campgrounds both are tent only. Stay on the designated trail (walking off trail can adversely impact firefly habitat). Nights at Congaree National Park are as inky black as any place in South Carolina. Congaree National Park, SOUTH CAROLINA Three National Park Service sites in three days, and the first actual National Park in a while: Today Masayo and I visited Congaree National Park, a little-known and, in its way, quintessentially southern-style Park located in central South Carolina.The weather was perfect, the bugs were photogenic, and even diabetes behaved as hoped. 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