We are explorers.
We like to drive.
So last Sunday we got up and got in the car by noon and headed northwest toward Congaree National Park.
It didn’t seem overwhelmingly hot or humid but I had done some reading prior and they warn that the park is extremely humid. So I packed the back pack full of water, kashi bars, bug repellant (deep woods) , and the camera of course.
The park itself was hard to find because we attempted to listen to our gps… she wasn’t quiet right. We ended up back tracking a little and following the signs. The park almost seems to start on a residential back road. Driving to the park it sure does seem like you are taking the road less traveled and that maybe this isn’t a tourist hot spot.
Getting to the park, you have a parking lot in front of the visitor center. You are surrounded my woods, seems much like any of our states parks really. There is one thing that makes it different from the SC state parks and all the National Parks that we have visited is that there are no entrance fees. p
Walking up, it is apparent you will be seeing tons of critters, so if you brought little ones prepare for their excitement as the vast amounts of lizards, spiders, and various other creepy crawlies the size of your hand hanging are from the rafters. Make sure to hit the restroom before the trails and check out the visitor center, its nicely put together with a variety of hands on learning centers.
We did the boardwalk loop trail which is an easy 2.4 miles, it’s doable for minis, and there is a self guided map with numbered spots. Be aware of what you are touching, the hand rails on the boardwalk are littered with red, black and white orb weaver spider, many as large as a two-year olds hand.
We did use a DEEP WOODS repellant for the mosquitos, but that didn’t stop them. one thing about the swampy location is the standing water that mosquitos bread in. We had to douse our clothing and hair because we were being bit through our clothes. At points on our way back there was several times i could hear them buzzing as they were trying to fly in my ears. We did miss the sign warning as we headed in that the mosquito level was : WAR ZONE. I laughed because it’s a very accurate meter.
We made it out alive with a little exercise, a lot of sweet, through four bottles of water and two protein bars. It may not be a long hike but it is interesting. Not sure if we would visit again or take our family there but we did enjoy the trip, we are just going to stick to the beaches for a while, maybe winter is a good time to go?
Not sure but it was certainly a learning experience.