Congaree and Lower Richland

Starting out on the Congaree Boardwalk

Normally on a second Saturday I’d be off with the guys from Lowcountry Unfiltered. They had a great trip planned for today, but due to various reasons I wasn’t going to be able to join them. Instead, I teamed up with Dwight, his wife Sue, and son Adam to explore Congaree National Park and a bit of Lower Richland County.

Lower Richland County is located in a wedge formed by the Congaree and Wateree Rivers up to their confluence, where they become the Santee River. The area is also known as the “Cowasee” Basin, a name created by combining names of those rivers. Congaree National Park makes up most of the Cowasee Basin, but there are also lots of historical locations, including one interesting ghost town.

I headed down to Congaree on this clear, cool Saturday morning. I arrived at the park early to find an already packed parking lot. There were groups of Boy Scouts, as well as other tour groups gathering. I have to admit – I tend to be selfish with my wilderness experiences. I don’t mind others around, but lots of loud people make it hard to see wildlife. I was a bit worried.

Congaree Crowds Gather

Dwight, Sue, and Adam arrived, and soon we were off, headed down the high boardwalk. The plan was fairly simple. We would stick to the trails and boardwalks for the most part, but we wanted to do a little bushwhacking. We also wanted to find at least one champion tree. Continue reading “Congaree and Lower Richland”

A Flooded Trek through the Congaree Swamp

Lowcountry Unfilter at Congaree Swamp

For the second Saturday in a row I got up very early to head out on a photo trek, this time with the Lowcountry Unfiltered group to the Congaree National Park. Instead of paddling, this would be a hiking trek. I think we would have stayed drier if we had been in kayaks.

I left a foggy Greenville at 6:00 AM, with the plan to meet the rest of the group at the park between 8:00 and 8:30. It was a cold mid-30’s, but I was appropriately dressed. The forecast called for rain later in the day, so even though it was cold, I was glad we were getting an early start. Continue reading “A Flooded Trek through the Congaree Swamp”

Congaree Swamp Hike

Laura and I wanted to get out and about this weekend, and we decided we would visit the Congaree National Park. We drove down Friday night so that we could get and early start the next morning. We had a nice dinner in Columbia’s Vista neighborhood, then spent the night in one of the rattiest … Continue reading Congaree Swamp Hike

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