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Activities

Established Camping

Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park

About

National Park Service

Overview

Longleaf and Bluff campgrounds are located above the floodplain in the upland region of Congaree National Park. Many of the park trails can be accessed from the campgrounds.

Recreation

At this time, the park's front & backcountry areas are open, including all hiking trails, Boardwalk Trail, restrooms, picnic shelter, Cedar Creek Canoe Trail & canoe landings. The western leg the Weston Lake Loop Trail remains closed. An outdoor visitor contact station is open from 9:00 to 1:00 daily, and maps and information are available outside of the Visitor Center 24/7. Please check out website for updates, as well as current conditions at the park.

Congaree National Park offers a wide range of opportunities to explore and experience the great outdoors. Many miles of hiking trails can be found in the park ranging from easy to moderately strenuous. Old growth forests, teeming with wildlife can be accessed by park trails or by exploring the many miles of waterways in a canoe or kayak. Interpretive programs including guided hikes, canoe tours and special ranger-led programs are offered throughout the year.

Facilities

At this time, all sites at the Bluff Campground and select individual and group sites are available at the Longleaf Campground. Those wishing to camp at the park and who are prepared for primitive camping in the Congaree Wilderness can learn more about this type of camping and how to obtain a permit on the Backcountry Camping page on our official website.

The campgrounds accommodate tents only and are primitive with no electrical hookups or access for RVs. Picnic tables and fire rings are provided. Water is not available at either location. Water is available 24 hours a day at filling stations located at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center

Longleaf Campground has two vault toilets located at the entrance of the campground.

Bluff Campground is a one mile hike from the registration station and does not have have restroom facilities.

Natural Features

The campgrounds are located in a spectacular wooded setting, nestled in the upland pine forests of Congaree National Park.

Nearby Attractions

Congaree National Park is located near many attractions including state parks, forests and parks. The city of Columbia is a short drive from the park and offers access to many attractions including museums, city parks and shopping.

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Location

Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park is located in South Carolina

Detail location of campground

Directions

**From Spartanburg** \- Follow Interstate 26 east towards Charleston for 92 miles and then take Exit 116 for Interstate 77 north towards Charlotte (on the left). Follow Interstate 77 for approximately five miles to Exit 5, Bluff Road. **Follow directions below from I 77, Exit 5.** (Approximate travel time: 2 hours) **From Charleston** \- Follow Interstate 26 west (towards Columbia) for approximately 75 miles. Take Exit 145, US 601 north towards St. Matthews. Follow US 601 for 23 miles. Turn left onto Route 48 (Bluff Road) and follow for 11 miles to Mt. View Road. Turn left and follow Mt. View Road to Old Bluff Road. Turn right on Old Bluff Road for half a mile to the park entrance, which will be on your left. (Approximate travel time: 2 hours) **From Charlotte** \- Take Interstate 77 south towards Columbia for approximately 95 miles to Exit 5, Bluff Road. Follow directions below from **Interstate 77, Exit 5.** (Approximate travel time: 2 hours) **From Augusta, GA** \- Follow Interstate 20 east towards Columbia for 65 miles to Exit 64B. Merge onto Interstate 26 and follow for 8 miles to Exit 116, Interstate 77 north towards Charlotte (on the left). Follow Interstate 77 for 5 miles to Exit 5, Bluff Road. **Follow directions below from Interstate 77, Exit 5.** (Approximate travel time: 1 hour 45 minutes) **From Interstate 77, Exit 5** At Exit 5 turn onto SC Hwy 48 East/Bluff Road. Following the brown and white "Congaree National Park" directional signs, travel approximately 8 miles on and then take a slight right onto Old Bluff Road. Follow Old Bluff Road for 4.5 miles to the park entrance sign, which will be on the right. Proceed one mile to the Harry Hampton Visitor Center. Parking lots will be on the right.

Address

100 National Park Road
Hopkins, SC 29061

Coordinates

33.83579631 N
80.82799428 W

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Access

  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.
  • Boat-In
    Sites accessible by watercraft.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
    Available
  • Verizon
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  • AT&T
    Good
  • T-Mobile
    Available

Site Types

  • Tent Sites

Features

For Campers

  • Market
  • ADA Access
  • Trash
  • Picnic Table
  • Phone Service
  • Reservable
  • WiFi
  • Showers
  • Drinking Water
  • Toilets
  • Alcohol
  • Pets
  • Fires

For Vehicles

  • Sanitary Dump
  • Water Hookups
  • Pull-Through Sites
  • Big Rig Friendly

Reviews

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out of 5

27 Reviews

cThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Feb. 24, 2023

Great day adventure

Me and my wife had a great time on the trail. Close to 4 miles long, and pretty easy. Great for a day adventure, or excercise. There is also a nature facility located at the trail head that provides knowledge of the area, and the wildlife.

Month of VisitMarch
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by charles P., February 24, 2023
J
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2022

Longleaf Campground

Beautiful quiet place to camp, hike, or canoe/kayak. You've gotta check out the boardwalk trail!!

SiteIS9
Month of VisitAugust
Ashley N.
Reviewed May. 16, 2022

Clean, well maintained

The sites are a short sandy walk from parking lot. Bring a wagon if you have coolers and such. Sites are pretty large and about 10-20 yards away from each other. Had a really nice time. Most camp sites were empty on Saturday night.

I’m used to back country camping so the trash deposits and pit toilets were a bonus.

We were about 3 days early for the synchronized fire flies.

Site06
Month of VisitJune
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Ashley N., May 16, 2022
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Ashley N., May 16, 2022
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Ashley N., May 16, 2022
  • (4) View All
H
Reviewed Oct. 20, 2021

gorgeous location

It’s a great location and very quiet. Walk in campsites and pretty secluded. You can see you neighbor, but a decent amount of space in between and not many campers overall. No electricity, but there’s LTE connection. Also only one pit toilet for each gender and no running water at the site.

SiteLongleaf 09, 10
Month of VisitNovember
C
Reviewed Jul. 26, 2021

Good but not national park status

Would have been nice to have water within walking distance of the campsite. Get sight 1 of Longleaf campground, otherwise it's a long way to drag your stuff unless you are set up for back packing. Hiking was decent but not spectacular. If you Kayak put in at South Cedar Creek and it will be worth it. Banister Bridge has too many downed trees to get around and not as nice of views.

SiteLongleaf IS 1
Month of VisitAugust
Jackie F.
Reviewed Jul. 23, 2021

Excellent

The weather was the only thing unbearable. That and the bugs, but it’s expected.

Month of VisitJuly
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Jackie F., July 23, 2021
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Jackie F., July 23, 2021
Deborah C.
Reviewed Jul. 3, 2021

Longleaf campground at congaree national park, July 2021

This is a decent no frills campground. Park in the lot and the sites are a quick walk. Vault toilets were clean, no lights at night. We made reservations UTI there was really no need,maybe one other person in the small campground and no check in or anyone to validate our reservation. Hiking is good, a fancy boardwalk most of the way due to 8 feet of mud! We saw a snake, an owl, and other critters.

Site03
Month of VisitAugust
J
Reviewed Jun. 13, 2021

Beautiful, but....

Definitely bring a wagon for packing your stuff in and prepare to be eaten alive by deer flies everywhere you go! The heat in June is also pretty bad, so having to go back and forth out to your vehicle to bring your stuff in and out is very difficult even though the path is flat and very short. If you don’t want to walk far, get campsite #1. It’s right next to the parking lot and closest to the bathrooms. On the plus side, the hiking trails are pretty cool, and the fireflies at night almost make it all worth it!

Site7
Month of VisitJuly
k
Reviewed Jun. 2, 2021

Near Nature

Good amount of space between all spaces. Sites 1-3 are the easiest to get to. We were at site 7, it took about 250 steps from the parking lot to our site. All sites have lots of shade. The campground is next to a pond that gets rather loud at night. I never knew frogs/toads could be so loud. Easy walk to visitor center from campground. On the path after crossing the road, we saw the synchronous fireflies! There were even a few at our site. There is vault toilet at the parking lot. Only yucky smelling hand sanitizer to clean your hands and poor air circulation.

Site7
Month of VisitJune
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by kelly , June 2, 2021
K
Reviewed Apr. 13, 2021

Tent camping only.

Hike in and tent camping only. No amenities.

M
Reviewed Apr. 5, 2021

A National Park in my backyard!

It was a pleasant stay at Congaree. As a SC resident I was surprised to learn we had our very own National Park and just had to take the short drive from Charleston to experience it - glad we did! The sites did not have water or power but were a decent size. We stayed at tent site 1 which was right at the beginning of the Bluffs Trail. We took our 2 dogs hiking to the boardwalk trail which led back to the Visitor Center.. this was a decent 3+ mile hike our dogs were pooped! Overnight guests should be prepared to gather your own wood as none is sold on site. You can also get water from the Visitor Center (which is a better drive than walk if carrying a large or multiple jugs). The bathrooms on the campground part were essentially glorified port-o-potties (a building surrounding a hole in the ground). The Visitor Center was a better bathroom experience. Overall, I would return here to camp. The hikes were not too challenging but the boardwalk provided a unique experience!

  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Marissa H., April 5, 2021
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Marissa H., April 5, 2021
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Marissa H., April 5, 2021
  • (13) View All
Neil T.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Mar. 21, 2021

Great Place to Explore

Unfortunately only walk-in sites - individual and group. However site #1 is only 100 yards from the parking lot. Sites are well spaced with an easy path/trail to them.

I was very happy to see all the prescribed burning in different areas. It’s still beautiful and it will be so much healthier.

Visitor center is a short drive or east hike from the campsites. Right now Covid has most of the exhibits closed, but they are still open with some souvenirs and drinks for sale.

A boardwalk makes for an easy way to take a comfortable look into the swampy forest and if that is too removed for you, trails are available as well. If you take the trails it’s a good idea to check in with the ranger station at the visitor center and get the daily conditions and advisories.

Loved the park despite the very cool and misty weather. There was a symphony of bird sounds!

We had at least one bar of Verizon service at both camp and the visitor center.

  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Neil T., March 21, 2021
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Neil T., March 21, 2021
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Neil T., March 21, 2021
  • (18) View All
Ross H.
Reviewed Apr. 21, 2020

A Great Way to Spring Break!

Stayed here in late April 2017 and loved the experience. The "drive up" campground still requires a small hike from the lot to the individual camping location. The primitive campground can be quite possibly one of the quietest places you ever camp depending on the season. Going in the spring, the bugs were practically non-existent, and we stayed out all night taking pictures of the night sky and talking around the camp fire. The experience is every bit what camping should be. We also met some great people at the campsites near the parking lot. Campgrounds are right off of the hiking trails, and there are no RV or camper sites. A backpacker's paradise!

J
Reviewed Sep. 5, 2019

National Park. Beautiful, pristine trails in a lowland, River-swamp habitat

Pristine, but organized trails near the Consgree river and Swamp. Lots of wildlife and ancient trees on the trails. Small campsite to include group camping. 40 miles from downtown Columbia SC. A rare treat to go back in time like this.

J
Reviewed Aug. 24, 2019

Small primitive campsite that is nice and quiet

About 300 feet from the parking lot so easy to walk into and make trips back to the car or motorcycle in my case. It’s lowlands so it floods easily in heavy rains...learned this the hard way! Picnic table available at each site.

Courtney B.
Reviewed May. 26, 2019

Back to nature at this well-maintained campground (Bluff)

There are two campgrounds at Congaree.  You park at Longleaf parking lot, where there are walk-in sites and vault toilets (clean but terrifying to squat over the abyss). We then walked 1 mile to our campsite at Bluff, where there are 6 sites available.  The sites are situated around a large, grassy area, and there isn't much privacy. (From what I saw, Longleaf sites offer more privacy.)  But you can't beat $5/night.

The walk to Bluff is not difficult but there are lots of tree roots.  We brought a beach cart to help tote our stuff, and we had to navigate those roots.  You will be packing light!

The very nice and air-conditioned Harry Hampton Visitors Center has a water fountain for filling bottles.  You will need lots of water if you are camping during the summer months.  It's also 1 mile to the visitors center.

The trails are well-marked, which is great when you're trying to find your way back to your site in the dark.

There is lots of hiking (easy and difficult) and good fishing in Weston Lake.  Canoeing and kayaking are completely dependent on the water levels at the time, which fluctuate greatly.

There is nothing in the way of swimming, which is a bummer in the summer.

SiteBluffs 3
Month of VisitJune
  • Bluff campsites 1-6
    Play button icon
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Courtney B., May 26, 2019
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Courtney B., May 26, 2019
  • (7) View All
Margaret
Reviewed Apr. 30, 2019

Cool place, a little buggy!

We stayed in Longleaf site 1 and site 2 in April. Site 1 is the closest to the parking lot- like 20m away. It’s very public and right beside the trail for all the other Longleaf sites. Site 2 is a further walk down the trail and then a walk into the bush. So it’s more private but there’s a lot more plants everywhere. These sites are more for smaller tents and not massive ones. There are a lot of tree roots which it tough if you have a huge tent. There is one washroom open at the visitor centre and a potable water tap available all night long- but drive there walking is too far. There is a vault toilet at the parking lot for Longleaf.

  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Margaret , April 30, 2019
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Margaret , April 30, 2019
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Margaret , April 30, 2019
  • (8) View All
M
Reviewed Jun. 23, 2018

Congaree National Park Longleaf Campground

If you like seclusion this campground is for you. The campground is primitive. There are 10 single sites that you have to walk into from the parking lot. Not a very long walk but just enough to feel secluded from traffic and other people. It has no showers, vault toilets and no running water. There is potable water at the visitor center and also flush toilets. The trails are very nice and well kept. Depending on when you go you may be the only ones on the trail. The wildlife is very neat it makes you feel like you are in a mini rainforest. There are snakes, skinks, lots of birds, insects and fox squirrels.

Site7
Month of VisitJuly
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Michelle A., June 23, 2018
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Michelle A., June 23, 2018
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Michelle A., June 23, 2018
  • (11) View All
S
Reviewed Jun. 10, 2018

Nice campsites, and great experience, prepare to walk in and bring water

We stayed in Longleaf campground at Congaree National Park for a stop-over on our way back north from a family trip in Florida. The campsites at Longleaf each had a fire ring and picnic table, and were pretty good sized. The key thing to know about Longleaf is that you need to be prepared in several ways:

  1. You have to make a reservation online. The ranger at the visitor's center told us to make sure we had some kind of documentation of our reservation. Reception can be spotty, so printing your reservation ahead of time might be a good idea.
  2. There is one parking lot, and you'll be walking with your stuff into your campsite. It isn't far, but be prepared to carry things. (Note: The walk into Bluff campground is further than Longleaf)
  3. There is no potable water at either campground. Bring your own. (Relatedly, there are only vault toilets at the campground)

We stayed in campsite 6 at Longleaf, which was great. Campsites 1-3 are closer to the lot, but also closer to the walk that everyone takes from their cars to their sites. For a little more space/privacy, opt for campsites 4 and above.

Although the campground is barebones, it had everything we needed and made for a great stop for us. Most of the park trails were underwater when we were there after a recent flood. It seemed like paddling would have been an optimal way to see the park and surrounding areas, but even so, we had a great time. There were lots of people out on the boardwalk trails, including lots of kids and dogs. Before you hit the trails, stop in the Visitor's Center and pick up the interpretive brochures on the types of trees/wildlife - they have kid versions and grown-up versions. Both were helpful in understanding the unique environment of the floodplain.

SiteLongleaf, Site 6
Month of VisitJuly
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Sara W., June 10, 2018
Trina W.
Reviewed Apr. 25, 2018

Synchronous fireflies

We camped here to see the synchronous fireflies, and loved our stay! The group site was plenty big enough for all of the children, the hiking was excellent, and the fireflies were one of the most magical things I've ever seen!

Month of VisitJuly
Tara M.
Reviewed Apr. 17, 2018

Amazing Park

Congaree is one of my favorite parks to visit. I love walking around the boardwalk doing the self guided nature tour. Every time you go the landscape is a little different because of the flood plains. You can see the effects of hurricanes and fires from the past. Great place for kayaking or canoeing. For two weeks in may, it is one of the best places in the United States to see the fireflies migration. There are lots of great hiking trails for all skill levels.

  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Tara M., April 17, 2018
Wabu W.
Reviewed Mar. 30, 2018

Campground

Sites 2,10 and 8 are private or not to close to other sites. It a easy walk in from the parking lot. Bathroom are clean but no water anywhere next the campground. The sites were clean but the tree roots are horrible, it night you will trip over them and there will be some under your tent. Very nice park office,young ranger a bit rude but the volunteers nice.

SiteOne
Month of VisitApril
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Wabu W., March 30, 2018
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Wabu W., March 30, 2018
Emily S.
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2017

Close Quarters

Campground was very clean, but also provides very close quarters. We stayed over a Saturday and Sunday night and at least half of the spots were taken each night. One group spot was claimed Saturday night, which unfortunately made for a somewhat loud experience. Sound travels very far in this environment, and we could hear every word our neighbors were saying at 7am. However, the pit toilet was kept very clean, as were the camping spots and trails. Easy walk into the campsites from the parking lot, making this more of a "car camping" than primitive camping experience. There is easy access to all of the trails in the park, which are open 24/7. We took advantage of the Full Super Moon and did the boardwalk trail through the swamp at night, an experience I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone!

SiteLongleaf Site #7
Month of VisitJanuary
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Emily S., December 5, 2017
Sarah C.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 2, 2017

Poor Experience

This spot was one of many on a fall paddling vacation, but this stop didn't go as planned. The campground only has a few sites and they are first come, first serve. There is a group campsite across the field from where the other sites are located. While the setting is incredible and the park itself a true gem, we did not feel safe enough to stay at the campground.

As soon as we got to the campground (after we went to the Visitor's Center for our permit) we were approached by a man with an axe by his side. Our dog didn't like him either, he immediately began growling. He asked a lot of questions and hung around the entire time we were unloading our car. FYI, you cannot drive up to these sites.

After trying to shake the feeling this guy gave us we decided to load everything up and find a hotel for the evening. We re-visted the VC and let the rangers know about our encounter. The next day we returned to the park to paddle and received a call from a law enforcement ranger saying they dealt with the other individual and apologized for our inconvenience.

All that being said, I would absolutely attempt to stay here again. Why? Well because it's an incredible park with a lot to explore. I also appreciated how responsive the rangers were regarding our concern. The reality is, this is a very secluded campground and has a lot of potential.

Month of VisitDecember
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Sarah C., July 2, 2017
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Sarah C., July 2, 2017
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Sarah C., July 2, 2017
  • (9) View All
SwitchbackKids
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2017

Bluff Campground the way to go for quiet, peaceful park oasis

Having been on the road for about three months before coming to Congaree, we were happy to arrive to such a quiet and tucked-away campground. For $5 per night, Bluff Campground was the perfect spot to hole up for a few days and relax surrounded by the old growth forest of Congaree National Park.

Our time at Congaree was different from the other national parks we visited, because South Carolina had just undergone major flooding and much of Congaree -- especially its trails -- were under water.

With no crowds and not much to explore, our three days in the park was very relaxing. We chose Bluff Campground -- a one-mile walk-in campground near the visitor center -- because we knew it would be less popular than Longleaf Campground, and we knew we’d be spending a lot of time there. The one mile hike seemed further than we thought because of our heavy loads, but once we arrived at our camp, set up our tent, chairs, hammocks, and slack line, we were able to just make the easy walk in and out each day.

The campground itself has no facilities; its only amenities are the fire ring and picnic table at each site. We encountered only one other camper in our two nights here. We did encounter many mosquitoes, though, so don’t forget bug spray!

At Congaree, there are several hiking trails and kayaking trails that we would have liked to do, but with our plans foiled by rain, we spent time at the visitor center, around the short boardwalk trail adjacent to the visitor center, and kayaking through the flooded plains, straight off the boardwalk.

You can read much more about our three days in the park on our blog: Switchback Kids (Congaree)

Month of VisitDecember
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by SwitchbackKids , June 29, 2017
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by SwitchbackKids , June 29, 2017
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by SwitchbackKids , June 29, 2017
  • (7) View All
Phil L.
Reviewed Aug. 31, 2016

Beautiful, majestic forest

While there are two campsites here, a quick backwoods camping trip (which is free with a permit you get from the visitors center) is the way to go and experience this wilderness right outside of Columbia

  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Phil L., August 31, 2016
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Phil L., August 31, 2016
  • Review photo of Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park by Phil L., August 31, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to camp at Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park?

Camping at Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park can cost between $5.00 and $20.00 depending on the site.

Does Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park have RV hookups?

According to TheDyrt.com, Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park has water hookups.

Are fires allowed at Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park?

Yes, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, fires are allowed at Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park, although make sure to check current fire restrictions in the area.

Does Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park have wifi?

Yes, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park does have wifi.

Is there cell phone reception at Longleaf Campground — Congaree National Park?

According to campers on TheDyrt.com, Verizon signal is good, AT&T is good, and T-Mobile is available.