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Contact: Lauren Gurniewicz, 803-647-3969
Join a park ranger at Congaree National Park for Big Tree Hikes from 10:00 am-3:00 pm on Sunday, January 15 and Friday, January 27, 2012.The 6.5 mile hikes will take visitors to some of the largest trees found in the Congaree floodplain and show visitors how "Champion" trees are determined.Participants will learn how to take measurements and, perhaps, even locate and register a new "Champion".The hikes last approximately five hours and are limited to the first 30 participants. Participants should bring lunch and water and wear sturdy boots or hiking shoes.Register for the free hikes by calling the Harry Hampton Visitor Center, 803-776-4396.
After two decades of advocacy by private citizens to protect the largest intact tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the United States, President Gerald Ford signed Public Law 94-545, authorizing the establishment of Congaree Swamp National Monument on October 18, 1976.The park's designation changed to Congaree National Park in 2003. An international biosphere reserve and federally-designated wilderness area, Congaree National Park serves as a classroom and laboratory for visitors, students, and scientists from around the world. Visitors can explore 26 miles of hiking trails, 2.5 miles of boardwalk, a wilderness canoe trail, campground, and visitor center, each providing unique experiences.
The Harry Hampton Visitor Center is open 9:00 am-5:00 pm, 7 days per week from October 1-March 31 each year and 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Sunday-Thursday and 9:00 am-7:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from April 1-September 30.The facility is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.Visitors may explore Congaree at any time, as the park's grounds and trails remain open 24 hours, 7 days per week.