Sugarberry Hike

Saturday, March 7, 9:30am-12pm

The state champion Sugarberry resides a short distance off the Weston Lake Loop Trail, though access can be difficult since a water crossing needs to be negotiated in order to reach it.  The tree is one of a handful of the park’s champion trees that is truly exceptional for its kind.  At almost 14 feet around and over 120 feet tall, it is simply much larger than other Sugarberry that have been documented at Congaree National Park.  Since losing a large limb a few years ago, the tree has been in decline and likely will not live long.  Even though it is difficult to visit, it is fitting to make the attempt.

We will plan our trip at a most appropriate time of year.  The early spring foliage of sugarberry trees is the most beautiful in the park, and the color will be at its peak when we visit.  In addition to the champion Sugarberry, we will visit some nearby large hardwoods and make an optional trip to another large Sugarberry off Sims Trail.

Come prepared for a water crossing–a large stable log crosses much of the gut, but a small stretch of knee-deep water will have to be negotiated; we will do everything in our power to assist with a dry crossing.  The hike is only two or three miles on good terrain; dress appropriately for the weather and bring water and a snack.  RSVP to John Grego at friendsofcongarees; we wiwamp@gmail.com or (803) 331-3366.

Annual Meeting and Oyster Roast

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Friends of Congaree Swamp will hold its Annual Oyster Roast and Business meeting on Sunday, October 27, 2019, at Congaree National Park. The event will help celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the first organized hikes into the park—a Sierra Club outing on September 25, 1969.

Registration will begin at 2 p.m., followed by a memorial hike. We will reconvene for the business meeting, during which LaBruce Alexander, John Cely, Ann Timberlake and others will share their first hike experiences at Congaree Swamp.

After the business meeting, the Oyster Bar will serve roast oysters beginning at 5 p.m. Friends members will provide beverages, chili, vegetarian selections, and desserts.

2019 annual meeting flyer (pdf)

Adopt-a-Trail Workday (Paw Paw)

Sunday, August 25, 2019
9:00 AM – around 1:30 PM

It’s time again for trail-clearing on our designated trails. August is always a good time to cut back switchcane, and we can continue to make headway on storm damage from the past few years. There is again a bumper crop of pawpaw this year, and we will sample a couple along the way if they are still around.

We will meet at the Visitor Center at 9 AM and will finish in the early afternoon. Be prepared for warm weather, spiderwebs and bugs. Work gloves, light hiking boots, plenty of water, and a snack are recommended. If you have loppers, long-handled shears or bow saws, bring them along. Park staff will provide gear if you do not have any. Please contact John Grego friendsofcongareeswamp@gmail.com; 803-331-3366) if interested.

Please check back for updates!