Record year for visitors to Congaree National Park

In 2023, Congaree National Park set a visitation record with 250,114 guests, reflecting a growing interest in natural and cultural heritage.

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Visitors walk on a boardwalk to explore the nation’s largest old-growth bottomland hardwood forest. | Photo by Congaree National Forest

In 2023, national parks across the US saw 325.5 million visits, marking a 4% increase from the previous year.

Congaree National Park, located just 30 minutes from downtown Cola, set a new record with 250,114 visitors, surpassing the 2021 record by almost 35,000.

This growth reflects a year-round interest in the park that’s focused on preserving the nation’s largest old-growth bottomland hardwood forest. Driving this increase is the continued interest in the annual park with the help of events like the viewing of the synchronized fireflies and the celebration of Juneteenth.

Speaking of the synchronized fireflies, May was the most visited month ever for Congaree National Park. We’ll keep you up-to-date on the upcoming lottery for passes to the park, happening for approximately two weeks between mid-May and mid-June.

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