The Refuge was established in 1937 to preserve the rare and beautiful Okefenokee Swamp.It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and many more Folkston attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Folkston trip itinerary maker site.
The Okefenokee Swamp is a vast bog inside a huge, saucer-shaped depression that was once part of the ocean floor. The swamp now lies 103 to 128 feet above mean sea level. Native Americans named the area "Okefenokee" meaning "Land of the Trembling Earth". Peat deposits, up to 15 feet thick, cover much of the swamp floor. These deposits are so unstable in spots that trees and surrounding bushes tremble by stomping the surface.
The slow-moving waters of the Okefenokee are tea-colored due to the tannic acid released from decaying vegetation. The principal outlet of the swamp, the Suwannee River, originates in the heart of the Okefenokee and drains southwest into the Gulf of Mexico. The swamp’s southeastern drainage to the Atlantic Ocean is the St. Mary’s River, which forms the boundary between Georgia and Florida.
The swamp contains numerous islands and lakes, along with vast areas of non-forested habitat. Prairies cover about 60,000 acres of the swamp. Once forested, these expanses of marsh were created during periods of severe drought when fires burned out vegetation and the top layers of peat. The prairies harbor a variety of wading birds: herons, egrets, ibises, cranes, and bitterns.
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge reviews
There is so much to see and do here we were glad to have returned just about a year to the day later. A major highlight was the boat tour offered by the private vendor. You should reserve a seat...
There is so much to see and do here we were glad to have returned just about a year to the day later. A major highlight was the boat tour offered by the private vendor. You should reserve a seat... more »
Awesome boat tour through the park services' vendor. (Verses the commercial one farther north.) Very well narrated by boat pilot. Many stops along the way to observe and listen. I counted 16...
Awesome boat tour through the park services' vendor. (Verses the commercial one farther north.) Very well narrated by boat pilot. Many stops along the way to observe and listen. I counted 16... more »
This was an awesome experience. We went in February during an unusually warm day (80 degrees). It was nice, not too humid or buggy. If you're not used to southern humidity and bugs, I'd plan to visit here during winter or late fall months. The visitor's center was great. The staff were helpful and shared so much information. It's such a neat experience. The boat tour is an additional cost, and it is totally worthwhile. There is a federal park fee cash or card are accepted.
Tony and I went to Folkston, GA outside of Jacksonville Florida basically across the state line. This swamp is full of Alligators and is a Refuge. The cost is $5 per person and if you take the boat ride it's only $25 each extra. The ride is 1.5 hours long. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. We were the only ones on the boat, kinda like a personal trip. Very nice! We were on the 930am boat tour on a Wednesday so it wasn't very busy and very enjoyable weather. The bugs didn't bother us much, but we did have on quite a bit of bug spray!!! I tipped him $15 for the trip, we saw a turtle, 2 tiny frogs, several different species of birds, 3 Barred Owls and 4 Alligators. It was very enjoyable and I would definitely do again!! Highly Recommend you detour for the boat tour!!!
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