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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up VIDEO: Congaree National Park SC - 3-day Solo Backpacking Hammock Trip



    On this trip I spent 3 days hiking and camping in South Carolina's Congaree National Park. The majority of Congaree is an Eastern Lowlands Forest, which is a fancy way of saying it is quite swampy. This was my first time backpacking in such an environment.

    My first day started out with an easy 1-mile hike in from Longleaf Parking to the Bluff Campground. This area of the Park is a Pine Forest. Fortunately Bluff Campground is situated on the Park's high elevation and doesn't routinely flood like the Eastern Lowlands section, so all camping was dry. I grabbed my designated spot in the camping area and prepped firewood for the upcoming sub-freezing night.

    Day 2 was my big hiking day of the trip. I started out along the Elevated Boardwalk Trail, and by virtue of being there first thing in the morning I pretty much had the place to myself. This was my first taste of the Eastern Lowlands Forest - the dark waters flowed beneath the boardwalk with Congaree's large trees rising up around me. I soon broke away from the popular Boardwalk Trail and explored various backcountry trails until they each inevitably petered out into floodwaters. The towering trees in the Congaree Wilderness were spectacular - Congaree hosts more Champion Trees than anywhere else in North America.

    Temps stayed above freezing for my final night. On Day 3 I hiked back up to finish off the rest of the Boardwalk Trail and enjoyed one last excursion in the "swamp" before returning to my car at Longleaf Parking. Only about 50% of the trail network was accessible on this visit, plenty left to explore in the future.


    Thanks for watching!
    Layne

  2. #2
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    My Goodness! look at all those trees and clear ground cover at about 2:10. Thank you for sharing as we approach “getting back outside” weather.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  3. #3
    Crawldaddy's Avatar
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    to cold for snakes and alligators?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rolloff's Avatar
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    Nice Layne, you're getting pretty good at this. Thanks for taking us with you.
    Signature suspended

  5. #5
    jb_outdoors's Avatar
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    Congaree is an interesting and challenging place to stay, but beautiful in its own way. Great video!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cougarmeat View Post
    My Goodness! look at all those trees and clear ground cover at about 2:10. Thank you for sharing as we approach “getting back outside” weather.
    The whole area was really just a spectacularly unique environment. It may not have the breathtaking views of a mountainous hike but I enjoyed spending time in the forests and swamp.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crawldaddy View Post
    to cold for snakes and alligators?
    Yes sir, saw one snake sunning on the 2nd day but other than that there was no reptiles out and about. I'd imagine that place is crawling during the warmer months.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolloff View Post
    Nice Layne, you're getting pretty good at this. Thanks for taking us with you.
    Thanks Rolloff, I keep practicing and looking for ways to improve. The feedback that I've gotten from my fellow hammockers over the past 2 years has been invaluable.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jb_outdoors View Post
    Congaree is an interesting and challenging place to stay, but beautiful in its own way. Great video!
    It was your trip report last year that inspired me to check it out. Thanks for sharing!

  10. #10
    jb_outdoors's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layne View Post
    It was your trip report last year that inspired me to check it out. Thanks for sharing!
    That's awesome!

    By the way, for future trips you can check the river levels here:
    https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitorin...5&period=P365D

    And there is a gauge in the backcountry area as well here:
    https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitorin...065&period=P7D

    Congaree NP is actually the place that convinced me to start hammock camping after I spent two very miserable days hiding from the heat, biting flies, and storms in a very soggy tent. I look forward to seeing your adventures deeper in the swamp next time.

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