Congaree National Park to Grammie's
Mooresville Travel Blog› entry 12 of 29 › view all entries
Who knew South Carolina had a National Park treasure?! We saw Congaree National *Monument* on the GPS and upon checking it out (National Monuments can be fabulous too), we learned it became the newest park in the NP system in 2003! Well, we didn't have our NP Passport with us for the kids to stamp, but we headed on to it.
National Parks are the most protected of our nation's land. National Monuments are very neat. National Historical Parks and Monuments are very educational. National Forests are huge, beautiful swaths that are managed with some logging industry relationships (and offer free dispersed camping within them). But National Parks are the best of our nation's land and Congaree did not disappoint.
First, we visit the Visitor's Center to get the Ranger's excellent advice given our timeframe. There is typically a whole museum there in the Visitor's Center. We learn why that specific area was set aside- what makes it special. Then we enjoyed the 3.2 mile boardwalk loop and hike through the ancient tall forests to the river and the lake. Stunningly beautiful, the land offers peace not often found in today's world of background noises. We were getting cold and while Charles and Lia attempted the Junior Ranger guide, we hurried at the end. It was a long hike, but refreshing!
This park would be a wonderful place to take a boat to paddle! All services are free at this off-the-beaten path park. I highly recommend time exploring the trails and rivers in the old-growth forest.
We were excited to see Grammie and Grandpa Vic north of Charlotte and had a wonderful visit with them. Plugging into their house allows all 4 electric blankets to supplement the furnace. It is cold up here! In the 30's and these Texans are freezing. Hope it prepares us for the cold of Washington DC!