Congaree National Park
Congaree National Park is the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States. Waters from the Congaree and Wateree Rivers sweep through the floodplain, carrying nutrients and sediments that nourish and rejuvenate this ecosystem and support the growth of some of the tallest trees in the eastern United States.
There are different reasons to show up different times of year here. In the summer you can hike around more areas and see the synchronous fireflies. But the flood season in the winter is one of the major things that make this park unique so we decided to visit then. Many of the hiking trails were closed and even parts of the raised boardwalk were under water. I ended up taking off my shoes and trekking on.
We only ended up spending a few hours here on a day trip but for the time of year and inaccessibility, that was all we really needed. We saw some squirrels and birds and a turtle. I was constantly on the lookout for snakes, because I knew that water moccasins and copperheads are prevalent here, but I didn't see any that day. The funnest part was watching people (mostly unsuccessfully) trying not to get wet. Kudos to this guy for carrying his girlfriend.