Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hand of Man

The nicest thing about the Congaree National Park is that there is little sign of the hand of Man. The only things you'll see of that type are the road at the entrance, and the visitor's center. After that, if you want to explore the park, you will do so on foot or by kayak or canoe. There aren't any other options.

There are trails, of course. Since the park bottomlands flood several times per year, a few of the trails are constructed of elevated boardwalks. These only extend a relatively short distance into the forest. Beyond those, the only man-made things you will encounter other than the trails are a few footbridges that cross various streams and guts.

The ENTS group assembles at the visitors center on a cold, bright, cloudless Saturday morning. (I should have brought a scarf!)

Early on along the first boardwalk.

Boardwalk ends, dirt trail begins.

Elevated boardwalk section not far from the world champion Loblolly pine.

One of a number of bridges in the park.

I watched a party of kayakers from the middle of the bridge.

The last bridge at the end of our twelve-mile hike.

Heading back toward the visitors center.

Park sign at the entrance.

Take off. Get lost in the nicest untouched forest in which I've ever been.

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