October 18, 1976 - Congaree National Park established


Photo of Congaree National Park, Hopkins, South Carolina


Joseph Caylor… This national park in central South Carolina is truly an underrated gem. Originally known as Congaree Swamp National Monument until 2003, it's the largest tract of old-growth bottom land or floodplain forest in the United States. What this means, is that going there, you step not only back into time, but into a timeless world of giant trees, vast black-water swamps and nature as it was intended. I've been lucky enough to go twice and hike and camp in the park. My favorite part of the park is that everything is free, from the camping to the guided ranger canoe trips! If you are in the Columbia, SC area and are an outdoor enthusiast, you should definitely go to Congaree National Park if you want to immerse yourself in a truly unique place, if even for a day trip.