Congaree National Park preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States. Located in South Carolina, the 26,546-acre (107.43 km2; 41.48 sq mi) national park received that designation in 2003 as the culmination of a grassroots campaign which had started in 1969. The lush trees growing in this floodplain forest are some of the tallest in the Eastern U.S., forming one of the highest temperate deciduous forest canopies remaining in the world. The Congaree River flows through the park. About 57 percent (15,000 acres, 61 km2) of the park is designated wilderness area.
In addition to being a designated Wilderness Area, an International Biosphere Reserve, a Globally Important Bird Area and a National Natural Landmark, Congaree National Park features primitive campsites and offers hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and bird watching. Bald cypress is a common tree in the park. Large animals possibly seen in the park include bobcats, deer, feral pigs, feral dogs, coyotes, armadillos and turkeys. Its waters contain interesting creatures like amphibians, turtles, snakes, alligators, and many types of fish, including bowfin, largemouth bass, panfish, and catfish.
8:30 am-5:00 pm Monday-Thursday and 8:30 am-7:00 pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, through September 30, 2011. Beginning October 1, 2011- 9:00 am-5:00 pm 7 days per week from October 1-March 31. The facility will be open 9:00 am-5:00 pm Sunday-Thursday and 9:00 am-7:00 pm Friday and Saturday from April 1-September 30 each year. The Harry Hampton Visitor Center is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.