Monday, December 11, 2017

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

IMG_8695    The refuge’s 402,000 acres contain wet prairies, cypress forests, scrub-shrub vegetation, upland islands, and open lake. Few roads or trails penetrate the refuge so the best way to see it is by canoe, kayak, or boat tour but there are three drive-in entrances - Steven Foster State Park on the west side, Suwannee Canal Recreation Area in the east and Okefenokee Swamp Park on the north end. We visited the Suwannee Canal Recreation Area which is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The recreation area has a small visitor center, an historic homestead built in 1927, eight short dirt trails, and a boardwalk trail.


IMG_8683   The trail to the homestead is hard packed dirt and pine needles and is accessible. The homestead grounds are soft sand, making it very difficult to push a wheelchair around to see the buildings. None are opened to tour but a brochure is provided. A spur trail off of the homestead trail leads to a 3/4 mile boardwalk and observation tower. This trail, like most of the other trails, is packed dirt and pine needles but roots and ruts make it bumpy and difficult. Drive to the boardwalk parking lot for easier access.The boardwalk is accessible but the tower is not. The visitor center had closed for the day before we got a chance to see it.

IMG_8692   The homestead parking lot is too small for large RVs. The boardwalk parking lot has long RV spaces and it’s possible to walk/roll along the road to the homestead trail.  Refuge   30.73986, -82.11685



  1. My late brother, Rob, spent a week camping in the Stephen Foster St Pk area of the Okefenokee, and he paddled his kayak all over ... photographing ... he took beautiful shots of "critters," flowers, sunrises, etc. Were you bothered by skeeters or are they "out of season now?" (I've never been to the Okefenokee.)

    1. It looks like a great place to take a long kayak trip or even a short one if you don't want to tent camp.

      No mosquitoes! The cold snap before we got there must have killed them.