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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News

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.

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.

Congaree National Park Photos

Dancing Under the Trees with the Wind as My Music (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

Dancing Under the Trees with the Wind as My Music (Congaree National Park)

An image captured not long after starting my walk along the Boardwalk Loop Trail. What I found in the views with the tall trees around me was different settings, not just with the type tree stretching upward to the skies above but also in the landscape itself. Some areas had waters present as part of a floodplain while others had enough of a rise to seem walkable (something I’d later note again while walking the Weston Lake Loop Trail). For this image, I looked upward and was rewarded with a view of blue skies that were still present in the skies before an approaching rainstorm. Sunlight danced on the upper leaves of the deciduous forest as the trees gently moved with each passing breeze. A true delight! I later worked with control points and color control points in Capture NX2 to bring out the contrast, saturation and brightness I wanted. I then added a Foliage and Polarization CEP filter which seemed to best compliment the look I wanted for the final image.

I Want You to Walk With Me; We Can Figure Out Where We’re Going Later… (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

I Want You to Walk With Me; We Can Figure Out Where We’re Going Later… (Congaree National Park)

Captured while beginning a walk on the Boardwalk Loop Trail. I'd have a chance to walk a few other trails connecting off this, but one has to start somewhere :-)

A Friend Asked Me If We Were There Yet As We Enjoyed the Walk (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

A Friend Asked Me If We Were There Yet As We Enjoyed the Walk (Congaree National Park)

A Friend Asked Me If We Were There Yet As We Enjoyed the Walk.
I thought for a few seconds, and said that we were there already
If you simply took enjoying the views of nature all around.
We weren't going anywhere in particular, but the time spent was special.

Another work of short poetry or prose to complement the image captured one afternoon while walking part of the Sims Trail in Congaree National Park. For me, this image captured was about the nature trail leading off into the distance with the tall trees all around. Metering the image was a little more difficult given the bright skies above. While a rain storm was coming through later that evening, there was definitely still enough sunlight above and that had to be balanced with the shadowed areas in the forested area below. I was able to find a mean, “Zone 5” area and then did my best to bring in the highlights and Capture NX2 for the final image.

travels with Bigfoot (& friends)

Stu_Jo posted a photo:

travels with Bigfoot (& friends)

www.nps.gov/cong/index.htm

The Waters, Earth and Sunlight That Give Nourishment (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

The Waters, Earth and Sunlight That Give Nourishment (Congaree National Park)

A continuation along the Boardwalk Loop Trail where I came across this setting of waters in the floodplain still present. With some sunlight coming from above, it allowed for me to capture the reflections present in the still waters with the tall, bald cypress trees all around. I was later able to work with control points and color control points in Capture NX2 to bring out the contrast, saturation and brightness I wanted. I then added a Foliage and Polarization CEP filter to complement what I saw that afternoon for the final image.

The Boardwalk Loop with Tall Cypress Trees All Around (Black & White, Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

The Boardwalk Loop with Tall Cypress Trees All Around (Black & White, Congaree National Park)

A conversion to black & white using Capture NX2 where I made some adjustments to color filters to bring out a much richer tonal contrast across the brighter and more shadowed areas in this setting for the final image.

Worm’s Eye View (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

Worm’s Eye View (Congaree National Park)

Over the many years since I started exploring the national parks of the US and Canada, I’ve had many an experience in just looking upward through the trees above and soaking in the views. And yes, even capturing a few images :-) I’d have many chances to savor this same type view in Congaree National Park over the three days that I would be exploring it. What I liked about this author and his article (digital-photography-school.com/8-creative-ways-to-photogr...) was that he spent some time describing different techniques to capture images of trees and forested areas. This one would be best described as the "worms eye view.” Composing this image was a matter of finding that right view to bring the trees together as if spokes on a wheel. Metering though was a little more difficult in finding that mean or “Zone 5” area that would allow me to work with the highlights above as well as the more shadowed areas in the trees around me. I worked with control points and color control points in Capture NX2 to bring out the contrast, saturation and brightness I wanted. I then added a Foliage and Sunshine CEP filter to give that little bit extra for the final image.

Along Life Journeys, I Came Across Some Waters (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

Along Life Journeys, I Came Across Some Waters (Congaree National Park)

An appropriate caption for this image as I walked along and sometimes through the creeks and floodplain slough while walking the Weston Lake Loop Trail. Based on the GPS coordinates and trail map, it wasn’t too far from the namesake lake in this part of the wilderness area of Congaree National Park. What drew me into this image wasn't just the bald cypress trees, tall as they were all around me, it was also the reflections off the still waters and sunlight coming through the tree canopy. It just had this quality…a stillness, if you were, and quietness as the only thing around was the footsteps I would make as I continued this trail.

As I Walked, I Pondered a Path to Take (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

As I Walked, I Pondered a Path to Take (Congaree National Park)

As I Walked, I Pondered a Path to Take
To my front was a boarded walk which so nice and pleasant,
But to my right was that less traveled path
amongst the wildflowers and forest
Many streams to cross and scratches to take on my skin
But there was really no choice when I thought about it
The wilder one called me by name and an exploration began...

Another work of short poetry or prose to complement the image captured one afternoon while walking part of the Boardwalk Loop Trail and pondering continuing on the Weston Lake Loop Trail in Congaree National Park. Eventually, I would get back on the Weston Lake Loop Trail, but with the time of the day and wanting to explore as much of the national park as I could before a rain storm came through the area, I decided to continue with the Boardwalk Loop Trail for a little while longer. Still there were other portions where it was fortunate to be wearing my Keen hiking sandals that day :-)

Oh! Just a squirrel

debamalya.chatterjee posted a photo:

Oh! Just a squirrel

The black dragon

debamalya.chatterjee posted a photo:

The black dragon

A walk through the greens

debamalya.chatterjee posted a photo:

A walk through the greens

A boardwalk through bottomland forest

debamalya.chatterjee posted a photo:

A boardwalk through bottomland forest

Do You Want to Visit Nature (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

Do You Want to Visit Nature (Congaree National Park)

Do You Want to Visit Nature
Don’t wait for it to come to you
It only takes one step to begin the journey
But what wonders await the imagination
Just don't let that feeling go…

Another work of short poetry or prose to complement the image captured one afternoon while walking part of the Boardwalk Loop Trail in Congaree National Park. What I was trying to capture with this view was that iconic setting that I'd seen in images from other photographers as well as on the main National Park Service site for this national park. It was the old growth bottomland hardwood forest with the floodplain waters. With some angling of my Nikon SLR camera, I was able to capture the look that included some of the reflections of the trees across the still waters while bringing in enough sunlight from the tree tops above for a balanced view of lights and colors with the more shadowed areas below.

The Calm Waters of Lake Captured Reflections of Colors and Shadows (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

The Calm Waters of Lake Captured Reflections of Colors and Shadows (Congaree National Park)

The Calm Waters of Lake Captured Reflections of Colors and Shadows
​The sun gave us all its warmth and life
I walked the path ahead and felt their waters
I soaked in the cool breeze that came in the afternoon light
A storm was approaching, but that was the future
But at this moment in time, I had peace and hope
The company of a national park along the shore of Weston Lake.


Another work of short poetry or prose to complement the image captured one afternoon in Congaree National Park while soaking in a view of Weston Lake. I’d just finished walking most of the Weston Lake Loop Trail and wanted that chance to relax and take in a calm view...and what a view it was! Composing the image was a matter of lining it up to capture that look across Weston Lake with the trees and the blue skies above. It was metering that would be a little more complicated. The sun was out and I knew I would blow any highlights if I attempted to not expose for that. But in doing that, I also have very dark shadowed areas that would probably have a color cast to it that I would have to spend a lot more time processing out. What I was able to do was find a spot where I could kind of hide the sun a little bit of the tree branches but still have enough of it coming out for the image. I later used some CEP filters (Foliage, Polarization and Pro Contrast) in Capture NX2 which seemed to best bring out look I wanted in a final image.

Into the woods

debamalya.chatterjee posted a photo:

Into the woods

The Cypress knees

debamalya.chatterjee posted a photo:

The Cypress knees

The Fellowship of Bald Cypress

debamalya.chatterjee posted a photo:

The Fellowship of Bald Cypress

I'd Like to Think the Wildflowers (Congaree National Park)

thor_mark  posted a photo:

I'd Like to Think the Wildflowers (Congaree National Park)

I'd like to think the wildflowers were put there for me to admire that afternoon
But it was really just a chance encounter in the paths I walked that day
They'd be there for another person to see the next day, I know they would.
But as I'd read in scriptures many a day before,
King Solomon and all his wealth with clothes could match
The splendor and beauty those yellow flowers had for me today.


Another work of short poetry or prose to complement the image captured one afternoon while walking part of the Sims Trail in Congaree National Park. While Iդ read a little about this trail, there were others that had really interested me. But flooding in one area with the Weston Lake Loop Trail had convinced me to walk more of the Boardwalk Loop Trail until I noticed these field of yellow wildflowers. The yellows really stood out against the greens of the forest all around! So walking this path led me to them and then another way to the Weston Lake Loop Trail Iդ wanted to walk. Interesting insմ it, how chance encounters lead one across different adventures in life :-)

Anole Lizard at Congaree National Park

Duane Bowker posted a photo:

Anole Lizard at Congaree National Park

This little fellow was courting a female anole on another branch but she was not interested and ran away. This is from a trip we took down to South Carolina in April, 2019.