"Quintessential swamp country" Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge by mtncorg

'gators, snapping turtles, mosquitos - Okefenokee

There are three main entry points, all dead-ending into the swamp: to the north out of Waycross is the Okefenokee Swamp Park; to the east from Folkston is the Suwanee Canal Recreation Area and from the southwest is the Stephen C. Foster State Park. Each entry point has its own special sights and concession offerings - boat rentals, boat tours, night tours, overnight canoe tours, observation towers.

The swam is a large bog set it a huge saucer-shaped depression 38 miles north-south by 25 miles east-west set at a little above 100 feet above the sea. The name ' okefenokee' is a white man's derivation of the Indian term for 'trembling earth'. The earth is underlain by deep deposits of peat which make the ground so unstable that stomping on the surface in areas can cause trees and surrounding bushes to tremble. Slow, tea-colored waters drain from the swamp into two main rivers - the Suwanee River on the southwest and the St Marys on the southeast. within the swamp, there are many islands and open lakes.

People have been involved with the swamp since at least 2500 BC. Late 19th century attempts to drain the swamp and make the land arable for agriculture failed but logging was carried out on a fairly large-scale until 1927.

A very popular activity is to do wilderness canoe trips lasting from 2-5 days. There are several different canoe trails coursing through the Refuge. Campsites are on raised platforms upon which tents may be placed. Reservations need to be obtained though before setting out:

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Primeval beauty
  • Cons:Not the Garden of Eden in August
  • In a nutshell:Swampland at its most Educational
  • Last visit to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge: Sep 1999
  • Intro Written Oct 29, 2003
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Reviews (3)

Comments (1)

  • PA2AKgirl's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2004 at 12:03 PM

    ahh, I love this place...all swamps really...they are amazing, mysterious, peaceful and lively all at the same time. Your picture of the alligator is wonderful!

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