A split-level boardwalk makes the going easy on this 0.7 mile loop in the Congaree Swamp National Monument. The loop starts at the ranger station and delves part way into the swamp, which is the largest stand of old-growth river bottom hardwood forest in the United States. The overgrowth is so thick at times that the boardwalk is not only shaded, but also almost gloomy. A trail guide available at the ranger station corresponds to numbered signs and highlights the various plants you will encounter along the way. The turnaround point is at Weston Lake, where you will find a lovely overlook. The swamp occasionally floods, which means the lower section may be under water, so you will need to return on the elevated portion. If you want to explore further, the Congaree Swamp contains more than 19 miles of trail.
There is a small, primitive campground just inside the monument. There are numerous commercial campgrounds in the Columbia Area.
Directions: From Columbia, Drive southeast on SC 48 (Bluff Road) for approximately 12 miles and bear right onto Old Bluff Road (Richland County S-734). Follow the signs to the Congaree National Monument.
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