Explore the

Okefenokee Swamp

Something for Everyone!

Explore the wildlife and vast wilderness, past Native American civilizations, pioneers and settlers, waterways and habitats of North America’s largest “blackwater” swamp. Whether you’re looking for a few hours of family fun by land or water, or whether you’re seeking a multi-day immersion in the solitude of the swamp’s 438,000 acres of natural splendor, we have something for everyone at our three unique swamp entrances.

Activities

Things to Do

Auto Tour Route View - Okefenokee Swamp

Auto Tour Route

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

The Auto Tour Route, also known as the Swamp Island Drive at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, is a 7.2-mile paved road, which can be used by cars, bikes and walkers. This scenic route is a great way to experience the beauty of the refuge in a comfortable, stress-free way. The Swamp Island Drive provides access to several hiking trails as well as the Chesser Island Homestead and Chesser Island Boardwalk. Additionally, the Swamp Island Drive has an interpretive brochure to aid guests as they are learning about the flora, fauna, and history of the refuge.

Camping Platform - Okefenokee Swamp

Camping

Stephen C. Foster State Park

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge Camping Permits

There are 63 tent and RV campsites within Stephen C. Foster State Park, offering many opportunities for visitors to experience the unique camping environment of the park. While camping, visitors are close to the park’s many activities, and astronomy enthusiasts can enjoy some of the best stargazing in the southeast.

A bucket list trip for visitors from around the globe, camping in the heart of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is an adventure for both the expert and the novice in the outdoors. A variety of overnight camping platforms and islands provides opportunities for camping from one-four nights in the swamp.

Photo credit: Jay Blanton

Group Canoeing and Kayaking - Okefenokee Swamp

Canoeing, Kayaking & Boating

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge w/ Okefenokee Adventures

Stephen C. Foster State Park

Okefenokee Swamp Park

Whether bringing your own boat or renting one, paddling, kayaking and boating is an unmatched opportunity to experience the swamp. Public boat launches, canoe, kayak and Jon boat rentals are available at both the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and Stephen C. Foster State Park entrances, while the Okefenokee Swamp Park Paddle Sundays provide visitors at this entrance with an opportunity to rent kayaks or canoes on Sundays.

Photo credit: Chris Moncus

Cottages - Stephen C. Foster State Park - Okefenokee Swamp

Cottages

Stephen C. Foster State Park

Visitors looking for a more home-like overnight experience at Stephen C. Foster State Park will find our park cottages a great alternative to camping. The cottages can hold 6-8 people, and some can accommodate wheelchairs, offering a comfortable and convenient overnight stay.

Chesser Island Homestead - Okefenokee Swamp

Cultural Sites/Interpretation

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Stephen C. Foster State Park

Okefenokee Swamp Park

Cultural sites are available at all three swamp entrances, providing visitors with a window into the past cultures, history and activities within the resource-rich Okefenokee.

Okefenokee Swamp Park Daily Nature Show

Daily Nature Shows

Okefenokee Swamp Park

The Eye on Nature shows at the Okefenokee State Park are daily interactive experiences that teach visitors about the different native wildlife that make their homes in the park. These shows are held at the Okefenokee State Park Nature Center and/or the Lagoon Amphitheater and feature live animals, including snakes, turtles and even baby alligators.

Overnight Camping Platform - Okefenokee Swamp

Overnight Paddling Trips

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge Camping Permits

PERMIT REQUIRED
A bucket list trip for visitors from around the globe, camping in the heart of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is an adventure for both the expert and the novice in the outdoors. A variety of overnight camping platforms and islands provides opportunities for camping from one to four nights in the swamp. Check out Recreation.gov to learn more. Permits are required by contacting the permit reservation phone line during designated hours.

Picnic Area - Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Picnicking

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Bring a picnic lunch or grab lunch at the Camp Cornelia Cafe (Okefenokee Adventures) and enjoy eating outdoors in the picnic area adjacent to the Richard S. Bolt Visitor Center. There is also a picnic pavilion available for rent for large group gatherings, such as family reunions and birthday parties. And don’t miss the Animal Olympics Challenge where your children can mimic movements of different Okefenokee wildlife, while getting some exercise at the same time!

Richard Bolt Visitor Center - Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge - Okefenokee Swamp

Visitor Center & Nature Store

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Friends of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

The Richard S. Bolt Visitor Center and Friends Nature Store is the perfect first stop on your visit to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Visitor center staff and volunteers can tell you about the recreational opportunities in the refuge, recent wildlife sightings, and can point you to the educational exhibits and show the refuge film. While there, be sure to pick up a souvenir from the Friends Nature Store, where proceeds from all sales go to assist refuge projects. 

Barred Owl in Tree - Okefenokee Swamp

Wildlife Observation

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Established in 1937 as a “refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife,” the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is home to a wide variety of species, including black bears, American alligators, sandhill cranes and gopher tortoises, as well as many threatened and endangered species, such as the red-cockaded woodpecker, wood storks, indigo snakes and more.

Billy's Island Trees - Stephen C. Foster State Park - Okefenokee Swamp

Billy’s Island

Stephen C. Foster State Park

Accessed by boat through Stephen C. Foster State Park, this historic island in the Okefenokee has been inhabited by man for generations. Most recently, the Hebard Cypress Company had a lumber camp on the island in 1918, eventually supporting approximately 600 people. This island is the second largest in the swamp and is only accessible by boat.

Kakayers at Sunset on the Okefenokee Swamp Prairi

Canoeing, Kayaking and Boating

Stephen C. Foster State Park

For adventurous visitors, canoe and kayak rentals are available to explore the waters of the swamp. Canoeing and kayaking allow for an up-close and personal experience of the swamp, and unparalleled wildlife viewing. As an alternative to canoes and kayaks, Stephen C. Foster State Park also offers Jon boat rentals for park visitors who are interested in further exploration of the swamp waters.

Cottages - Stephen C. Foster State Park - Okefenokee Swamp

Cottages

Stephen C. Foster State Park

Visitors looking for a more home-like overnight experience at Stephen C. Foster State Park will find our park cottages a great alternative to camping. The cottages can hold 6-8 people, and some can accommodate wheelchairs, offering a comfortable and convenient overnight stay.

Banded Water Snake - Okefenokee Swamp

Educational Programs

Stephen C. Foster State Park

Stephen C. Foster State Park offers a variety of educational group experiences, including guided boat tours, paddle tours, and hiking. They also provide educational programs that cover topics including astronomy, reptiles, swamp topography, and more.

Fishing - Okefenokee Swamp

Fishing

Stephen C. Foster State Park

Stephen C. Foster State Park is a prime fishing location, particularly for warmouth, bluegill, catfish, chain pickerel and bowfin. Canoe, kayak and Jon boat rentals are available through the park, or visitors may bring their own.

Photo credit: Mike Sepelak

Gift Shop - Stephen C. Foster State Park - Okefenokee Swamp

Gift Shop

Stephen C. Foster State Park

The gift shop at Stephen C. Foster State Park provides visitors a convenient way to shop for a variety of items, including apparel, food and snacks, camping supplies, souvenirs, and more.

Baby Alligators - Okefenokee Swamp

Boardwalks & Nature Center

Okefenokee Swamp Park

Okefenokee Swamp Park offers and boardwalks, including one that takes visitors to the tallest observation tower in the swamp. The Nature Center is home to the serpentarium, which houses many different species of snake, as well as a family of bears, turtles, and baby alligators. The center also hosts a variety of interactive activities, including the Eye on Nature series.

Highsmith Cabin on Pioneer Island - Okefenokee Swamp

Cultural Sites/Interpretation

Okefenokee Swamp Park

Opportunities for cultural interpretation at the Okefenokee Swamp Park include Vereen Bell Memorial Highway, Cowhouse Island, authentically recreated Timucua and Seminole residences, logging machinery, turpentine equipment, and a moonshine still from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Skull Lake, Pioneer Island and Wildes Cabin exhibits echo times of early Indian cultures, pioneers, movie making and major fires in the Okefenokee.

Cypress Cove Annex Group Meeting Space at Okefenokee Swamp Park

Cypress Cove Annex Group Space

Okefenokee Swamp Park

Cypress Cove Annex is a beautiful facility, equipped to handle a variety of events, from business meetings to weddings. The Annex can comfortably hold up to 200 people, has a fully equipped kitchen, and is surrounded by the incredible wilderness of Okefenokee Swamp. Additional indoor meeting space is available at the park Nature Center, while outdoor meeting space includes the Pavilion, the Amphitheater and an outdoor wedding gazebo. Both Cypress Cove Annex and the Nature Center are connected to the internet with fiber optic cable.

Okefenokee Swamp Park Daily Nature Show

Daily ‘Eye on Nature’ Shows

Okefenokee Swamp Park

The Eye on Nature shows are daily interactive experiences that teach visitors about the different native wildlife that make their homes in the park. These shows are held at the Nature Center and/or the Lagoon Amphitheater and feature live animals, including snakes, turtles and even baby alligators.

Educational Program Children - Okefenokee Swamp Park

Educational Programs

Okefenokee Swamp Park

Okefenokee Swamp Park offers field trip reservations for school groups, and discounted guided tour rates for school trips. Reservations can be made four weeks or more in advance to allow your class an unforgettable outdoor education experience.

Guided Boat Tour - Okefenokee Swamp Park

Guided Boat Excursions

Okefenokee Swamp Park

Experienced tour guides take park visitors on a 45-minute boat ride through waterways, sharing their knowledge of the cultural and natural history of the area. These tours are a unique way to experience the beauty and history of the swamp, and to encounter some of the natural wildlife along the way. A Group Boat Tour is available too for groups of 12 or more. Reservations required.

Chart Your Course

Activity Map

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Explore Locations

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Okefenokee Swamp Park

Okefenokee Swamp Park Canal

Enjoy a variety of fun activities and a wonderful show-window into the swamp under a forest canopy. Wilderness boardwalks and walkways, guided boat tours along swamp waterways, live wildlife shows and habitats, a pioneer island homestead and railroad tour are just a few of the park highlights.

mobile-stephen-foster-park

Stephen C. Foster State Park

Black Bear Cub - Stephen C. Foster State Park - Okefenokee Swamp

This remote park is a primary entrance to the legendary Okefenokee Swamp. Paddlers and photographers will enjoy breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife. Stargazers will appreciate the particularly dark sky.

Same-day reservations are recommended for guided boat tours. Ask about our sunset and night tours. Rent canoes, kayaks or Jon boats for further exploration, including a trip to historic Billy’s Island.

Make time for fishing by staying overnight in a cabin or campsite.

mobile-wildlife-adventures

Okefenokee National
Wildlife Refuge with Okefenokee Adventures

People Canoeing Kayaking - Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge - Okefenokee Swamp

Enjoy exploration and wilderness observation, hiking, driving or biking along our Swamp Island Drive. Stop by our visitor center, take a guided boat tour, or kayak or canoe into our famous swamp prairies through cypress-lined waters, lily pads and grassy islands.

Onsite concession, Okefenokee Adventures, offers canoe, kayak and Jon boat rentals, cafe and gift shop.

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Waycross

Waycross, Georgia - Downtown Buildings

At the heart of Southeast Georgia, the historic town of Waycross is a city filled with Southern hospitality and charm with numerous opportunities for dining, lodging and shopping, as well as attractions such as the Historic Downtown district, the Okefenokee Swamp Park, the Southern Forest World Museum, the Okefenokee Heritage Center, and more.

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Folkston

Folkston, Georgia

Experience rural South Georgia, with a taste of authentic, small-town charm.

This excellent weekend getaway is complete with beautiful sights, outdoor exploration, and a rich history. Centrally located between Amelia Island, St. Marys, Jacksonville, and Savannah, Charlton County is only a short drive from I-95, making it the ideal place to experience everything South Georgia has to offer.

Get up close and personal with trains by relaxing under the Folkston Funnel, visiting the historical train museum, or even sleeping overnight in a train cart. Immerse yourself in off the beaten path experiences at the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge. Photograph the overhanging beauty and wildlife or take a step back in time and see how the early swampers dwelled.

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