Monday, June 30, 2008

Congaree Canoe Trip

Congaree National Park, which is just a short 30 min drive from our house, offers free guided canoe trips on the weekends. I found out about this great opportunity last year but children under 5 are not allowed. I remembered to call a few weeks ago. (You have to call to make reservations 2 weeks in advance.) I was so excited to reserve a spot for our family. The group had a total of 8 boats.

The trip lasted several hours. It started off with brief instructions on how to paddle, what to look for, etc. There were 2 guides who were very informative and extremely helpful. They told us all about the oldgrowth floodplain forest. I love how most park rangers really love their job and are enthusiastic about sharing.
We paddled along and stopped at a spot to eat lunch. There was a great big hollow cypress tree near where we were eating. It was so cool to get inside and look up through the tree.

We climbed back in and paddled back. We were given 2 canoes on this trip so the kids switched boats on the way back and they both did an awesome job paddling most of the way. I was surprised by how pleasant the temperature was in the forest. I was thinking it was going to be really hot, (canoing in the summer sounds hot, right?) but because of the canopy of trees and the slight breeze as we paddled over the water it was actually very nice.

It was so beautiful and peaceful to be in the woods with the spanish moss hanging over and the sounds of birds all around. We didn't get to see many animals on the creek probably because could here us coming and so stayed away. On the way out of the Park we stopped at the nature center and spotted 2 really cool creatures with the other rangers that were inside. They brought us out and showed us this elephant staghorn beetle and tree frog that had been hanging around the building. I'm so excited to research these guys and put them in our nature journals.
I highly recommend this trip to anyone looking for a fun, free outdoor activity. The trip fills up fast so you have to call 803-776-4396 ext. 0 Saturday or Sunday 2 weeks before your trip. Click here for the link and more information.


kellycowan said...

cute cute cute! please tell me more about your nature journals. reminds me of something courtney would do. as the girls get older i start thinking about things we can do together. you seem to have great ideas!

Anna Morrison said...

i have been looking for this post. i am glad it all went smoothly. the pictures are so great! your experience seems to have been so rich.
never leave this blog feeling uninspired.

April said...

I am so happy you shared this! We have been to Congaree but I did not know about these canoe trips, I can not wait to look into this. Sounds like a lot of fun!