Archive for the ‘Congaree’ Category

The Peaceful Congaree Forests


2010
08.02

We really enjoyed the subtleness and rarity of the forest preserved by Congaree National Park. If you go, make sure to walk several of the trails, but also, try canoeing on Cedar Creek, we really enjoyed it. Check out this video that’ll give you a feel for what it’s like:

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We had a hoot in Congaree


2010
08.02

Here, Ben tries to call in a barred owl and some elk. Will he be successful? Will he be attacked? Are there elk in Congaree? Find out!

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Owl prowlin’ at Congaree National Park


2010
08.02

When you visit Congaree National Park, make sure to reserve a spot for the ranger-led Owl Prowl. The program is held Friday and Saturday evenings from 8pm to 10pm and begins with an informative discussion on the different species of owls found in the park. Here’s an excerpt:

When Ali went on the prowl, she heard a bunch of Barred Owls that sounded like a pack of wild dogs. Very cool!

A couple tips: Make sure to wear long sleeves during mosquito season. Oh, and if you can, arrange your trip during the last week in May so that you can see the synchronous fireflies! Congaree and the Smokies are the only two places in the US you can view this cool light display!

The People of Congaree National Park


2010
07.29

What’s to see at Congaree National Park? Plenty! Take a listen to some of the folks we met on the Boardwalk Trail who know the park well and share some of their favorite sights.

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A Precious Hardwood Forest: Congaree National Park


2010
07.29

We didn’t know what to expect as we headed toward Congaree National Park in South Carolina. This is one of the smaller parks on our list and following our GPS directions lead us through nondescript suburbs of Columbia, SC. “This can’t possibly be right.” Ali said, as the GPS chirped that our destination was down somebody’s driveway. A little further down the road, was the entrance sign and we turned toward the visitor center. The woods surrounding us seemed tall and dark and the parking lot was relatively empty.

Bald Cypress knees abound on Cedar Creek

Cypress knees in Congaree National Park

Inside the visitor center, we found a/c, and great displays introducing us to the largest remnant of old-growth floodplain forest left on the continent. This park is home to many state and national champion trees (a champion tree is one that sets a record for its overall size) and ninety different species of trees.

Champion loblolly pine

Champion loblolly pine, our arms couldn't make it around

Congaree was preserved through a grassroots effort spearheaded by local advocates. These types of old growth, bottom land hardwood forests used to cover much of the floodplains of river systems in the south, but these forests have been reduced to 1% of their historic range, most of which is contained here in Congaree National Park.

It was also the flooding of these forests that helped protect them. Loggers tried to harvest the trees, but found that they were so dense the trees sank when they tried to float them down the Congaree River. Loggers then tried to girdle the trees in hopes of drying them out to float, but they struck out there, too. Because of the flooding and wet soil, most trees never dried out and were saved from the saw.

Thank goodness the loggers gave up, because the forests of Congaree National Park are gorgeous!

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Congaree


2010
06.08

Team East hasn’t explored this park yet. Until they do, here’s a little nature to tide you over:

Named for the native American tribe that lived here, this park protects the largest tract of old growth forest in America, hardwoods as tall as 170 feet…


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