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Congaree National Park Adds Group Campsites, Bans Car Camping


More group campsites have been added to the campgrounds in Congaree National Park in South Carolina. At the same time, the national park has put a halt to car camping in the park.

A recent expansion project at the Longleaf Campground added four group sites to make group camping more convenient for park visitors. The campground has ten individual sites as well.

The Bluff Campground, formerly used for group camping, now has six individual sites.

Vehicle camping (to include cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, campers, and conversion vans), which was once allowed at the Longleaf Campground, will no longer be allowed anywhere in Congaree National Park.

All campsites are available on a first come, first serve basis. Free camping permits are required and can be obtained at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center prior to camping. The Harry Hampton Visitor Center is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 7 days per week, year-round.The facility is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.


I've been to Congaree. I wonder why the NPS has banned 'car camping'. It's really be nice if the release gave a reason or two.....I assume most travelers who camp will be using some version of a car, truck, rv, camper or conversion essentially, they've banned camping unless you come in by mule train or as a pedestrian.....

It's not that bad, Mike. There's a parking area at the Longlead Campground. You do have to hike seven-tenths of a mile into the Bluff Camground, as no roads lead to it.

That said, it would have been nice to have some details on the car camping ban, which was just instituted.

I enjoy walk-in camping, particularly when the walk is short. We use a wagon to get the stuff to the site.


The intent behind the changes in the camping regulations was to make the camping safer and more enjoyable for everyone. With the improvements to the campgrounds also came the need to update the camping regulations. Car camping was one such issue that had to be addressed. I think there may be some confusion in the terminology used. Car camping as it is used in the press release is referring to sleeping in a car, or any other vehicle in a parking lot or a pull out that was not designed for camping purposes. Car camping is not referring to the method of conveyance that is getting you to the park. We are not trying to say that you cannot travel to Congaree National Park in a car, truck, van, RV, etc... We are just stating that sleeping in one of these vehicles in a parking lot or a pull out that was not designed for camping will no longer be allowed. As always, you can park your car, truck, van or even RV in the parking lot and camp at one of our walk-in campsites at the Longleaf Campground or the Bluff Campground or go camping in the backcountry. I hope this clarification helps.

R.D. Michael

Chief Ranger Resource and Visitor Protection

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