Outbound Collective logo

Boardwalk Loop

Hopkins, South Carolina

based on 6 reviews



2.33 miles

Elevation Gain

157 ft

Route Type



Added by Jason Heritage

The Boardwalk loop at Congaree National Park offers easy access to sights unseen from the roads. Get down into the swaps without all the muck as you traverse along a raised platform for 2.4 miles through the woods.

The Boardwalk Loop begins at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center where you can get a Self-guided Boardwalk Tour brochure. There aren't any water refilling stations along this trail, so be sure to fill up your water bottles before you descend down an elevated platform that leads into the forest. Along the way many vibrant trees and wildlife can be seen as you explore what can only best be described as hobbit territory. Tupelo trees and broad-shouldered hawks are among the most spectacular sights along the route.

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app
Download GPX File


Family Friendly

Boardwalk Loop Reviews

I visit the CNP regularly and this is always something I do! Absolutely gorgeous.

This is such a unique trail! My husband and I loved it. We hiked the trail at the end of April. The floodplain tide was low so no sections of the boardwalk were under water. It took us about one hour to complete this trail. This is a must do for anyone visiting this park for the first time.

The boardwalk here is great and has a ton of wildlife.

Definitely the best of both worlds here. Being surrounded by nature without having to soak your feet if you don't want to. Beautifully maintained.

Scenery and wildlife are def the draw here. "Everyone should see at least once!" type of aforementioned. Beware of a few things: Rainy periods can cause flooding on the boardwalk so call ahead. This is a large southeastern swamp. Many bugs and crawlers love this land so be prepared/ willing to share. Also take note of camping accessibility. Wilderness as well as wussie sites are available. Wilderness and against the grain backpackers will cope with lack of solid ground, no dry timber for fire (as well as fed rules forbidding campfires), easy disorientation , copious amounts of insect friends, and constant humidity discomfort. If you are as determined as I forget the previous statements. Great park. Easily accessible. And for sure one of the most remote places to visit in SC.



South Carolina's National Park is often forgotten, but it is a hidden gem in the small state. Some of the largest and oldest bald cypress and loblolly pine trees in the United States are found in this big park. There is also a variety of wildlife as I've seen many snakes, wild hogs, deer, lizards, and barred owl. However, if you go during the heat of the humid SC summers, be sure to check the mosquito meter through the ranger station before visiting or be sure to bring a lot of insect repellent! You won't be sorry!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Hike the River Trail at Congaree National Park

Hike the Weston Lake Trail, Congaree NP

Kayak Cedar Creek at Congaree NP

Hike the Guinard Clay Quarry Loop

Walk the University of South Carolina Horseshoe

Photograph the South Carolina State House