This past weekend, I was lucky enough to get two days of clear skies for our trip to Congaree National Park. I've planned 4 camping trips in the past two months, and have had them cancelled by everything from hurricanes to funerals, so I was pretty excited that this one actually happened. Congaree National Park is a beautiful old growth floodplain forest just outside of Columbia, SC.
It was a little cooler than expected, but this actually made for comfortable hiking, and no mosquitos, although I would have probably brought a warmer sleeping bag if I had it to do over again. In the end though, it was a great trip. We hiked in Saturday afternoon, and made camp in the flattest, least swampy spot we could find. On the hike in, we encountered several wild hogs, so we were a little wary through the night, but didn't have any run ins with the natives.
Sunday morning we packed up camp and hiked back to the main visitors' center, where we met up with Ranger Heather, who took us on a canoeing tour of part of the park. The canoeing tour was great. A leisurely paddle along Cedar Creek, it is truly the way to experience the park. It's an almost primeval landscape, and getting down at water level really immerses you in it.
All in all, I really enjoyed this trip, and am excited that we have a National Park of this caliber so close to home!