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The Beautiful Congaree National Park

(Dear reader, in case you hadn’t heard, Steven and I have left our home on Penobscot Bay for a camping trip of our own. If you’re not interested, page down a few posts and everything will be devoted to Life in Searsport; in the meantime, we’ll be traveling for a while and wanted to keep Bob and our friends updated on our travels.)

Hi Bob,

Hope all is well in Searsport…thanks for the pictures of the waves crashing over the seawall during the last snowstorm…we’re finally digging out our short sleeve shirts but it’s not warm enough yet 😉

As soon as we left Asheville NC and crossed into South Carolina, we stopped at the visitors center and asked for advice. We’re easy, we’re interested in hiking, arts and crafts, music and authentically quirky sites…and prefer driving secondary roads anytime we can.

The helpful, well informed lady behind the desk said that if we were going to see the best of South Carolina we shouldn’t miss the Congaree National Park. So we marked out the map and headed first to Columbia and then to the Park about 20 minutes away…this was the best tip ever!

The Congaree is the largest track of old growth flood plain on the North American Continent. It covers thousands of acres and has a 2+ mile boardwalk through the forest. The average tree height is 100+feet…think two Greyhound Buses and a Lincoln all standing on end…tall beyond imagination. The National Champion Loblolly Pine (found at Congaree) is 167 feet tall and almost 15 feet in circumference.

Because of the heavy November rains, the flood plains were exactly that…flooded. That sounds bad when the ranger tells you that most of the trails were closed and impassable…but then she explained that this was really a huge opportunity to explore the woods (imagine swamp) during a magical time that was doubly blessed because there weren’t any mosquitoes…the experience was amazing…we were there until the sun went down and we saw and heard swamp creatures…so different from Penobscot Bay sounds that I can’t begin to describe them to you…so Steve made a slide show to give you an idea of what we saw.

If you’re interested in our more fiber oriented photos and side trips, be sure to visit our Fiber College Blog…we’ll write again in another couple of days,

2 responses to “The Beautiful Congaree National Park”

  1. Dear Astrig and Steve,

    It’s great to hear you are getting a camping adventure all your own. This is truly the best time to visit the South — especially if you live in the frozen north! I especially envy you your visit to the Aboretum near Asheville. I have long understood that this area is the best place in the U.S. to see such a large variety of wildflowers, so perhaps spring is the best time to visit after all. Maybe you’ll get another chance another time.

    And I love that there is an extensive boardwalk running through the Congaree National Park. I’m reminded of the wonderful boardwalk that runs through the Orono Bog. No doubt you’ve been there but if you haven’t please make plans to do so.

    This is a great blog and Suz and I — now that we know about your trip — are following it avidly.

    With warm regards,


  2. Looks like you’re having a great time and WELL EARNED break!!!
    Have a wonderful Christmas!
    Anna & Ted

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