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There were downed trees in a few places that made the canoeing more of an obstacle course at times.
Photo Credit: guyonthego

Canoe Tour - Congaree National Park

100 National Park Road Hopkins, SC 29061
Tours are offered on selected weekends. Reservations are required.
803-776-4396 3 hours
February 2014 Fall, Winter, Spring
$0-9 Hopkins South Carolina
Website Recreation Canoeing/Kayaking
First review
The canoe tour at Congaree National Park is a ranger led outing that travels for about a mile on Cedar Creek, a medium size and heavily wooded creek near the park's entrance. The park service supplies all the equipment needed, and can accommodate single guests, so you just show up. The tour departs from the main visitor center and takes approximately 3 hours, with an hour or so of canoe time.

No formal canoe experience is required for this tour, but given the twists and turns in the creek and a moderate current, it's a good idea to have at least some familiarity with a paddle and boat. The tour schedule varies quite a bit. In some months two trips are offered, but other months have none at all. Also, the tours are typically reserved several months out, so contact the park well in advance of a visit to check on availability. The park service will generally cancel the tour if the temperature is below 45 degrees or if there is severe weather. The tours will go out in rain though, so a plastic rain poncho may be the smartest $10 investment you can make.

There were only about 10 people on the tour. Rain had been forecasted, and there at least 6 no shows. While the temperature registered a cool 46 degrees, the day was sunny and wind was light, so it was perfect canoeing weather. The park ranger was pleasant and professional. She offered occasional commentary on the habitat, but she was hard to hear unless you were paddling alongside her. As for the overall outing, it was fair but not great. On the plus side, it was a quiet and peaceful experience, and the group was personable. On the other hand, there were several downed trees that had to be awkwardly negotiated, and the forest surroundings became monotonous after a while. Also, there was thick mud around the water's edge. For those really into canoeing or kayaking none of these inconveniences will matter much, and the tour will be an enjoyable excursion. However for other travelers, you can get roughly the same experience hiking the park trails and boardwalks, and so missing a canoe tour will not greatly diminish your overall park visit.
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7.33 Hopkins, SC National Parks ratingStar
Congaree National Park