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Tri-Am RV Blog

  • Published on Aug 30, 2016
    Calling all Nature Lovers: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

    Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

    Calling all nature lovers! If you love to be outdoors and explore the wonders of Mother Nature in its true form then the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is a place to visit for you.

    Located in Folkston, GA this beautiful refuge was established in 1937 as a “refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife”. Its purpose is to “protect and enhance wildlife and its habitat and ensure the integrity of the ecological system.” The refuge spans a total of 353,981 acres of national wilderness and provides habitat for endangered species such as the red-cockaded woodpecker, indigo snakes and a variety of others.

    There are 3 different entrances into the refuge. The Suwannee Canal Recreation Area, Stephen C Foster State Park (West), and the Okefenokee Swamp Park entrance (north). The main entrance to the refuge is the Suwannee Canal Recreation Area. Here, visitors can take advantage of boat tours and boat rentals, canoe and kayak rentals, a gift shop and concession-type amenities; all provided by Okefenokee Adventures. Also available via the main entrance is the opportunity to hike the upland trails, and visit the Chesser Island Homestead and Boardwalk. This 592 acre island was named after the first family to settle on the island. Visitors can walk around and experience life as it was in the early days.

    The next entrance on the west side of the refuge is the Stephen C. Foster State Park. From here, visitors can explore the refuge through boat trails using motorboats or canoes that you can rent from the park.  They also offer guided boat tours and interpretive programs for visitor enjoyment.  Cabins and campgrounds are present in this part of the refuge so you can stay overnight among the wilderness.  Cabins are available for rent, or there are tent campsites and RV campsites available. Reservations can be made through the park office.

    To the north is the Okefenokee Swamp Park entrance.  This part of the refuge offers a private facility for rent for birthday parties, receptions, or other gatherings.  The facility offers interpretive displays and live animal shows throughout the year.  There is a boardwalk that you can walk/hike through to explore this part of the park.  Boat and train tours are also available, taking you through the best parts of the refuge. Birding is popular in this part of the park where you’ll witness a variety of different species of birds, including some endangered species such as the red-cockaded woodpeckers. 

    If you want to experience the unique wildlife from inside your vehicle, many visitors take part in the Swamp Island Drive.  You’ll experience the best of the wildlife within the refuge without getting out of your car. Perfect for that rainy day something to do.

    For more information on the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge, visit www.fws.gov/refuge/Okefenokee/about.html

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