Congaree National Park, South Carolina

Congaree National Park is situated in South Carolina in Richland County. The park was established on November 10, 2003 after going through several revisions of campaigns to save the area from development starting in 1969. The park is the biggest old growth hardwood forest remaining in the USA covering nearly 42 square miles. Some of the activities enjoyed at the park are bird watching, kayaking, canoeing, and primitive camping.

Congaree National Park Info


Congaree National Park

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Fall Offerings at Congaree National Park

Fall programs offered at Congaree National Park to focus on communities and area history

Banner Year and Record Setting Visitation for Congaree National Park

2016 saw record numbers of visitors at Congaree National Park who participated in a variety of special events and programs including the National Park Service Centennial and the 40th anniversary of Congaree.

Congaree National Park Fire Management Plan

The Fire Management Plan Environmental Assessment has been released and will be open for comment for 30 days.

June Butterfly Count Program at Congaree National Park

The public is invited to participate in the June Butterfly Count at Congaree National Park on June 13, 2015.

Congaree National Park Photos

A Boarded Trail Through the Old Growth Forest in Congaree National Park

thor_mark  posted a photo:

A Boarded Trail Through the Old Growth Forest in Congaree National Park

Taking a Journey in Congaree National Park

thor_mark  posted a photo:

Taking a Journey in Congaree National Park

A view looking down the boardwalk not long after beginning the trail from the Harry Hampton Visitor Center. With the sun out and shining through the trees, there was definitely an element of excitement in my steps. So that’s what I want to capture with this image: a look down the iconic walkway of this national park.

A Parking Lot View of Tall Pine Trees under Skies of Blue (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

A Parking Lot View of Tall Pine Trees under Skies of Blue (Congaree National Park)

I know after parking in any area of a national park, my first thought isn't to look up and take in this setting like I experienced here in Congaree National Park. But after getting my camera gear out and stuff to hike along a few trails, I did look up and was definitely blessed to take in this view…from a parking lot in a national park!

Do You Like Being in Wonder of Trees? (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

Do You Like Being in Wonder of Trees? (Congaree National Park)

A more cleared out, open area while walking along the Bluff Trail in Congaree National Park. One can see the evidence of prescribed burns with some of the trees nearby. What I wanted to do, or rather capture with this image, was the bright, vibrant colors present and brought out my the morning sunlight. After a few days of overcast skies and afternoon rains, the colors present in the blue skies were a pleasant contrast with the greens and yellows of the forest and plant life around me.

For post-production work, I then worked with control points and color control points in Capture NX2 to bring out the contrast, saturation and brightness I wanted. I finally added a Foliage and Sunshine CEP filter to give that little bit extra for the final image.

It's Time to Start Planning a New Adventure! (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

It's Time to Start Planning a New Adventure! (Congaree National Park)

A spot along the Bluff Trail just outside the Harry Hampton Visitor Center in Congaree National Park. What I was trying to capture with this image was the forested setting with the hiking trial leading off into the distance. There was that morning sunlight coming down through the tree canopy, adding that vibrant color to the greens and yellows present in the leaves. I then worked with control points and color control points in Capture NX2 to bring out the contrast, saturation and brightness I wanted. I finally added a Foliage and Polarization CEP filter to give that little bit extra for the final image.

Goblins?, no just Tree Knuckles, Congaree National Park, South Carolina

PhotosToArtByMike posted a photo:

Goblins?, no just Tree Knuckles, Congaree National Park, South Carolina

Knees are typically found in swamp trees like the bald cypress. They’re woody projections that poke out above the normal water level. Congaree National Park is a 26,276-acre national park in central South Carolina which preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the United States. Print size 8x10 inches.

Old-Growth Forest at South Carolina's Congaree National Park

PhotosToArtByMike posted a photo:

Old-Growth Forest at South Carolina's Congaree National Park

Knees are typically found in swamp trees like the bald cypress. They’re woody projections that poke out above the normal water level. Congaree National Park is a 26,276-acre national park in central South Carolina which preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the United States. Print Size 13x19 inches.

Take More Than a Moment to Explore the World Around You (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

Take More Than a Moment to Explore the World Around You (Congaree National Park)

A view while walking the Bluff Trail with a forest of pine trees that I came across. While the image seemingly had no focus, my idea was to have a feeling as the focus of the image: that of a simple beauty of tree with an assortment of colors from greens and yellows to browns and reds (with some hints of purple). My thought in capturing this feeling was to use a composition technique I read about a few years ago that an author described as “the impact of less." So for this image, I would in a way step into the setting by using a longer focal length and not including a capture of all the forest all around me. I would instead focus on a little bit of a section to my front and then let the mind or eye imagine a forest that seemingly stretched far beyond. Yes, it just so happened that in this section along the hiking trail and national park, the forest did in fact stretch on quite a bit:-)

Buttressed Trunk and Root Structure Supporting a Water Tupelo Tree

PhotosToArtByMike posted a photo:

Buttressed Trunk and Root Structure Supporting a Water Tupelo Tree

Congaree National Park is a 26,276-acre national park in central South Carolina which preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the United States. Print size 8x10 inches.

Tree Knuckles or Cypress Knees growing like a forest of Goblins

PhotosToArtByMike posted a photo:

Tree Knuckles or Cypress Knees growing like a forest of Goblins

Congaree National Park is a 26,276-acre national park in central South Carolina which preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the United States. Print Size 13x19 inches.

It's the Destination Unto Itself...And It's All Around You! (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

It's the Destination Unto Itself...And It's All Around You!  (Congaree National Park)

An image I captured while walking the Bluff Trail at a road crossing. It was here that I came across an opening in the trees with the sun shining down. I did a few things for this image: one was using the trees to somewhat mask the bright sunlight to not overexpose the image I might capture. Another was stopping down on the aperture to bring out that starburst look with the sun. I knew I’d still have a large dynamic range to deal with in post-processing, so with the “extra” images I captured, I decided to import it into Aurora HDR 2019 and see what I might be able to bring out there. I then exported a TIFF image to Capture NX2 where I made some adjustments to contrast, brightness and saturation using color control points and a few CEP filters for the final image here.

We Are Storytellers; This is My Story of the Forests (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

We Are Storytellers; This is My Story of the Forests (Congaree National Park)

This was a view of some tall as tall loblolly pine trees while walking the Bluff Trail in Congaree National Park. The story behind this image isn't just the blue skies with white puffy clouds off in the distance as a backdrop to the trees…even though it was a sight to take in. No, it’s about the tall trees themselves, swaying ever so gently with a few creaks and moans as a gentle breeze passed from time to time…and there was pretty much no one else that Saturday morning while walking that trail too! I didn’t have my Nikkor 16-35mm lens with me that morning, so I backed up until I found a spot where I could include as much of the trees to my front as I could and then metered with a mean/average shutter speed to not blow any highlight but still later capture and pull out any of the shadowed areas in the nearby trees.

Because of the image theft by PhotoElite (stock.adobe.com/uk/contributor/206913296/photoelite?load_...), I am removing the CC license I previous had for all my images. I believe in the CC license, but this person, claiming my images as his, has ruined that. If you are a non-profit or wish to use my images in such a capacity, please contact me privately. My original desire remains the same in sharing the images I capture that reflect the natural beauty I've experience traveling this planet.

A Reason to Recharge is All Around Us in the Wildness of Nature! (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

A Reason to Recharge is All Around Us in the Wildness of Nature! (Congaree National Park)

A portrait orientation for something that a friend would later comment was forest bathing, while standing under some beautifully tall loblolly pine trees In Congaree National Park. The idea with this image was to capture the trees seemingly coming together as if spokes on a wheel. Metering the image was a little more involved to ensure that I didn't blow any highlights from the skies and the upper portions of tree canopy while still being able to pull out the more shadowed areas in the forest around me. I was able to use some Active D-Lighting in Capture NX2 to address that. I was then able to work with control points and color control points in Capture NX2 to bring out the contrast, saturation and brightness I wanted. I finally added a Foliage and Polarization CEP filter to give that little bit extra for the final image.

They Must Always Keep A Certainty in Love of Things Natural (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

They Must Always Keep A Certainty in Love of Things Natural (Congaree National Park)

That Voice You're Hearing Is the Wind Blowing Through the Trees (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

That Voice You're Hearing Is the Wind Blowing Through the Trees (Congaree National Park)

A more open forested setting while walking the Bluff Trail in Congaree National Park. Here I used that open area cleared out by some prescribed burns. There were two things that I wanted to capture with this image: one was the contrast of colors present. In the foreground were the yellows and greens of plant life. Above were the whites and blues of the skies. The other thing I wanted to capture was just how tall the trees were. I’d read about the loblolly pines when I was at the visitor center but seeing can often be different! Definitely tall! So that’s the story behind this image.

The Shape of Water and Trees (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

The Shape of Water and Trees (Congaree National Park)

With this image, I wanted to capture that forested setting while walking the Boardwalk Loop Trail in Congaree National Park. I decided to angle my SLR camera slightly downward in order to bring out more of a sweeping view for the eyes to look across for this image. It’s a lucky coincidence of timing that I happened across this place that had a stream flowing through to use as a leading line.

The Outside Styles of Trees (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

The Outside Styles of Trees (Congaree National Park)

Another of those typical “postcard type landscapes” while walking the Boardwalk Loop Trail in Congaree National Park. By angling my Nikon SLR camera slightly downward, I was able to capture a more sweeping view across this setting with the Cypress knees and trees. One can see the moisture still present on the ground as this area had been covered in the floodplain waters only a day prior. I found myself drawn into this image, given the contrast of colors with the browns present in the foreground compared to the more yellows and greens of the tree canopies off in the distance and above.

Serpent? no just Moss Covered Water Tupelo Roots

PhotosToArtByMike posted a photo:

Serpent? no just Moss Covered Water Tupelo Roots

Congaree National Park is a 26,276-acre national park in central South Carolina which preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the United States. Print size 8x10 inches. Print Size 13x19 inches.

Guts and Sloughs, Congaree National Park, South Carolina

PhotosToArtByMike posted a photo:

Guts and Sloughs, Congaree National Park, South Carolina

Guts and Sloughs (pronounced "slew") are low channels in the forest that help disperse water throughout the floodplain when the Congaree River floods. Congaree National Park is a 26,276-acre national park in central South Carolina which preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the United States. Print size 8x10 inches. Print Size 13x19 inches.

A Snag, Congaree National Park, South Carolina

PhotosToArtByMike posted a photo:

A Snag, Congaree National Park, South Carolina

Standing Dead Trees are called Snags and full of living things. Holes at the base of this snag have been created by a Pileated Woodpecker. Congaree National Park is a 26,276-acre national park in central South Carolina which preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the United States. Print size 8x10 inches. Print Size 13x19 inches.