Congaree National Park Facts

Congaree National Park Facts
Congaree National Park is a 26,546 acre park located in South Carolina, in the United States. Congaree did not receive national park status until 2003. In 1969 a campaign by the Sierra Club to save the old growth forest of Congaree began, and in 1976 it was designated Congaree Swamp National Monument by Congress. In 1983 the national monument was designated an International Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. In 1988 2/3rds of its area was designated a Wilderness Area and in 2001 it was designated an Important Bird Area. In 2003 when Congress re-designated the monument as a national park it was also expanded.
Interesting Congaree National Park Facts:
Prior to Spanish explorers arriving in the area, Congaree Natives inhabited the area.
The area encompassing Congaree National Park was first visited by Hernando de Soto in 1540 when he was exploring the area.
When the Europeans arrived the Congaree Natives were destroyed by smallpox.
In the 1800s the trees in the area of Congaree National Park became the target of logging.
In 1915 logging ceased. Interest in logging grew again in the 1960s and this prompted the Sierra Club to work to protect the forest.
Congaree National Park is home to the United States' largest number of Southern bottomland hardwood trees, located in Congaree Swamp.
Trees found in Congaree National Park include bald cypress, elm trees, water tupelo, American Holly, bitternut hickory, box elder, cherrybark oak, green ash, laurel oak, pawpaw, red maple, sweet gum, and water hickory.
Large trees are referred to as champion trees, and Congaree National Park is home to one the largest concentrations of these champion trees in the entire world.
Large animals that can be found living within Congaree National Park include deer, wild dogs, coyotes, bobcats, turkeys, otters, opossums, and armadillos.
Within the waters of Congaree National Park there are a variety of creatures including alligators, snakes, turtles, and various amphibians.
Fish found in the waters of Congaree National Park include alligator gar, catfish, and bowfin.
Notable hiking trails within Congaree National Park include King Snake Trail, Oakridge Trail, Weston Lake Loop Trail, and Bluff Trail.
The Boardwalk Loop is an elevated trail that stretches 2.4 miles through Congaree National Park. This walkway was designed to enable visitors to walk through the swampy sections without disturbing the plant life.
Visitors to Congaree National Park can camp, hike, canoe, kayak, and fish, but motorized boats are not allowed within the park.
During the spring and fall park visitors can participate in an owl prowl at night which is an opportunity to listen to the barred owls. This also allows visitors to see the fungus that glows in the dark, growing on cypress trees.
The highest temperature recorded at Congaree National Park was 104 degrees Fahrenheit in 1999.
A documentary was created in 2008 about Congaree National Park titled Roots in the River: The Story of Congaree National Park that shows the park's creation and why it is important.
In 1985 visitors to Congaree National Park totalled 12,332. In 2012 the number of visitors reached 109,685.

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