Allow a full or half day. Despite the vast bottomland swamp below Columbia, the Congaree is navigable along much of its length at high water by barge traffic. The Congaree Indians claimed the floodplain and Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto recounted the intrigue of the area in his journals. CONGAREE NATIONAL PARK. There is much to ex… Starting near Columbia, the Blue Trail is the ideal way to experience all the Congaree River has to offer through canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and other family-friendly activities. Congaree National Park is a lush backcountry inhabited by bobcats, deer, and playful river otters. The 22,200-acre (90 km²) park contains some of the last remaining old growth bottomland hardwood forest in North America. The river serves an important role as the final outlet channel for the entire Lower Saluda and Lower Broad watersheds, before merging with the Wateree River just north of Lake Marion to form the Santee River. Recreational opportunities include hiking, biking, bird watching, botanical interests, and canoeing. Congaree Riverkeeper watches the Broad, Lower Saluda and Congaree Rivers. Congaree National Park is the only United States National Park in the state of South Carolina, an old growth forest with wetlands and rivers popular for canoeing.. Such an image certainly might have kept some visitors away from Congaree Swamp National Monument, a 22,000-acre forest in South Carolina. There are three ways to take in South Carolina's only national park. Spreading northeast from the meandering Congaree River, the land is the largest contiguous tract of old-growth bottomland hardwoods in the United States. The Congaree River is formed by the confluence of the Saluda River and the Broad River in downtown Columbia. He managed Bates Ferry over the Congaree River near this location from 1910 to 1922 and supervised construction of a toll bridge here that was completed in 1923. Congaree River is formed by the confluence of the Saluda and Broad Rivers on the west side of Columbia, South Carolina, and flows approx­ imately 50 miles to the Wateree River. Boaters find easier paddling after a rain in late winter and early spring. From the visitor center, take the Low and High Boardwalk Trails (2.4 miles total). The Broad River and the Saluda River merge to form the Congaree River, which then flows southeast for fifty miles before merging with the Wateree River. Congaree National Park is amongst a humid subtropical climate. Toward the end of the next century, the country's burgeoning lumber industry moved south, with an eye on Congaree's giant hardwood trees. Our kayaks will be loaded with lunch and a cooler with cold drinks. Prehistoric foragers hunted the area and fished its waters. The only cities near the river are Columbia on the east, and Cayce and West Columbia on the west. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and explore what the Congaree waterways have to offer. The park preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States. Congaree River, river, central South Carolina, U.S., formed by the confluence of the Broad and Saluda rivers at Columbia.After a course of about 50 miles (80 km), part of which forms the boundary between Richland and Calhoun counties, the Congaree joins the Wateree River southeast of Columbia to become the Santee River.The Congaree was named for an Indian tribe. There was also a report of one in Lake Murray a few years ago, but it probably didn't survive its first winter. Coal tar is a toxin-riddled byproduct of power production in the early 20th Century. They were decimated in the 18th century, victims of a smallpox epidemic that came over with European settlers. Spring and fall are the most pleasant seasons. Our Signature single day kayaking trip down the Congaree River.Your adventure begins on the banks of the Congaree River in Cayce. Astonishing biodiversity exists in Congaree National Park, the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States. The river was named for the Congaree Indians who used to live along it. According to local legends, the cypress tree's trademark "knees"—small, knobby wood growths that rise around the trunk's base—are really wood elves who come to life at night to dance through the forest. Follow the Congaree National Park direction signs to the park. Waters from the Congaree and Wateree Rivers sweep through the floodplain, carrying nutrients and sediments that nourish and rejuvenate this ecosystem and support the growth of national and state champion trees. Dispersed throughout the park are some enormous trees, including some national champions for their respective species. 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