Congaree National Park protects the largest remaining tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in North America. The boardwalk is a 2.4 mile loop roundtrip. The Weston Lake is an oxbow lake. It was once a bend in the Congaree River. Over 2,000 years ago the river gradually changed its course and meandered south, leaving behind Weston Lake. The standing dead trees are called snags and are full of insect, spiders and fungi. The summer heat would make this park unbearable with flies and mosquitoes. There are no ocean breezes or cool mountain air so hiking the park is best in the spring or winter.