Hike the River Trail at Congaree National Park

South Carolina Harry Hampton Visitor Center

Added by Cassandra Harrison

This gorgeous trail is long enough to provide a challenging hike, yet flat enough to still be a relatively easy trek. Make your way through the magnificent forest of trees that make up the largest growth of bottomland hardwood forest in the United States and catch a glimpse of the Congaree River. 

Start your adventure at the parking lot for Congaree National Park and make your way to the Harry Hampton Visitor Center. There you can find clean bathrooms, drinking fountains, a gift shop, and trail guides. When you're ready to begin your hike, begin on the boardwalk and follow the signs for the River Trail - a 10-mile loop (with some overlap). The trail is clearly marked with signs along the way even though the path is narrow and overgrown in places. The trail will lead you to the Congaree River, but don't expect to be hiking along the river the entire trek. There is lots of foliage and wildlife along the trail and its longer length made it less populous and busy than some of the other trails in the park. Because the majority of Congaree National Park lies within a floodplain, the terrain is primarily flat with only slight elevation changes. 

Pack List

  • Park Map
  • Hydration 
  • Bug Spray 
  • Hiking Shoes 
  • Sun Protection 
  • Camera 
  • Nutrition
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Hiking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

10 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

3 months ago

Trail Beauty

One of my favorite trails to ever hike. CNP has done such an amazing job with maintaining each trail. I visit as often as I can!

3 months ago

Added by Cassandra Harrison

Adventurer and Blogger currently living her dream of a nomadic life on the road. Loves natural living, long hikes, beach days, old books, warm drinks, good food, striped socks, open windows, disney movies, road trips, and interesting people.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike along the Chattooga River to Spoonauger Falls

South Carolina / Spoonauger Falls Trailhead

Spoonauger falls housed in Sumter National Forest, received its name after the Spoonauger family which historically lived above the falls.

Brett Kelly
4 Saves

Hike to Raven Cliff Falls, Caesars Head SP

South Carolina / Raven Cliff Falls at Caesars Head State Park

Location: From the intersection of US276 & SC11, head Northwest on US276.

Brett Kelly
5 Saves

Walk around Audubon Swamp

South Carolina / Audubon Swamp Garden

If visiting Magnolia Plantation and Gardens for the day, consider paying the extra $8 admission to walk around the Audubon Swamp Garden.

Elyse Clark
3 Saves