Sunday, September 21 – It doesn't feel like fall, here in Columbia, SC, but that's why we ventured South. Today's temperatures are expected to hover in the 80’s. Nice!
We are off this morning for a hike in Congaree National Park. The 26,000 acre National Park protects the largest remaining tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the United States. The park contains some of the tallest trees in Eastern North America with one of the highest canopies in the world, broad bio-diversity and old-growth forest.
The trail map is pretty confusing. We had some trouble finding the trail we wanted to hike. As a matter of fact, we hiked the Bluff Trail (1.7 miles) first by mistake. Eventually we found the trail we were searching for, the Oakridge Trail (6.6 miles). But our confusion wasn't finished yet. Three quarters of the way around the Oakridge Trail be decided to jump over on the Weston Lake Look Trail, but got confused and headed down the River Trail (10 miles). YIKES!!!
Water tupelos dominate the landscape. They only grow where water is plentiful. The moss is an indicator of the water level from the pervious floods.
We needed to watch where we were walking. The tree root system along the trail can trip a person up pretty badly.
Luckily, after about a mile, Marsha figured out our error, we turned around and headed back to the Oakridge Trail. By now, we were getting tired and decided to just retrace our route back to the Visitor's Center. Our calculations showed we had hiked almost 9 miles – more than we planned.
Once again, we had the Park to ourselves. We really didn't see a soul until we were nearly back to the Visitor's Center. We enjoyed our hike, even though it was a bit confusing. We got a good workout, although we both admitted the scenery got a little repetitive after awhile.
After returning to our truck, we headed the 30 minutes back to the campground. The temperatures were creeping into the upper 80’s by this time, so we were happy to get home. We spent the afternoon relaxing and Marsha, the never tiring tour guide, planned out activities for tomorrow.
With over 25 miles of hiking trails and 2.4 miles of boardwalk, there are many ways to explore the Congaree Wilderness.
We are currently in Augusta, GA. We will continue to catch you up on our Columbia, SC, adventure.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!