Hike the River Trail at Congaree National Park

South Carolina Harry Hampton Visitor Center

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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
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How to Get There

6 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!

6 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.

Activities:

Hiking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

10 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River

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