Tuesday, May 3, 2011

An Accessible Visit to Congaree National Park

 July 2006

We decided to spend the 4th of July long weekend in South Carolina. While searching for wheelchair friendly trails, I found a 2.4 mile boardwalk trail in Congaree National Park, making this an easy choice for a short trip.

It was beyond hot the whole weekend and to make matters worse, I was suffering from an allergic reaction. I was sick and miserable, but we completed the boardwalk trail. It would be nice to visit under better circumstances someday.

Congaree National Park preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States. The lush trees growing in this floodplain forest are some of the tallest in the Eastern U.S., forming one of the highest natural canopies remaining in the world.

The park was originally called Congaree Swamp National Monument before becoming a National Park on November 10, 2003. The word swamp was dropped in hopes of sounding less mysterious and attracting more visitors to this underdeveloped park.

We were staying in Columbia, SC: home of the world's largest fire hydrant. This work of art stands at 39 feet tall, easily beating the competition in Beaumont, TX (24.5 ft.) and Elk Creek, Manitoba (29.5 ft.).

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