Kayak Camp along the Okefenokee Swamp
Georgia › Stephen C Foster SP Parking Area
Added by Mark Friedman
Stars and Swamp -What more do you need? Kayak on the legendary Okefenokee Swamp in Stephen C Foster State Park and stay up late for some stargazing in one of the darkest spots in the Southeast.
The drive to Stephen C. Foster State Park is part of the adventure. So pack snacks, prep the tunes, and keep your gas gauge and spirits high and get ready to cruise some country roads.
Because this swampland is so far from a big city, the very little light pollution around and in the park allow for the night sky to come alive. Plan your trip around a new moon and bring your tripod and your fastest lens and try your luck at some astrophotography...Just hope that the weather cooperates (as it did not when I was there).
The State Park has 64 campsites, 9 cottages, 3 picnic shelters and 1 pioneer camp. You can reserve a campsite by calling @ 800-864-7275, but you can only choose your campsite at time of arrival. Gates to the park close at 10pm, so there is no in or out after that.
Hiking along wooded trails or the boardwalk is fun and easy, but the real thrill is the 15 miles of water trails through the Okefenokee.Plan to spend most of your time on the water looking for any of the 12,000 estimated gators that live at the refuge. It's a swamp, so be ready for bugs. I went in January (weather was still in the 70's) so the mosquitos and flies were not an issue...the same cannot be said for summertime. Kayak, canoe, motor boat rentals are easy at the shop onsite. Additional info can be found on their website: http://gastateparks.org/StephenCFoster
- Bug spray (especially if you go in Spring or Summer)
- Water bottle
- Hat (if you plan to Kayak)
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Camping, Chillin, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography
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Awesome Swamp, Even better stars
Stephen C Foster state park is not a huge park, but it is spectacular in many ways. First you have the swamp, which surrounds the park. The Okefenokee swamp is home to the largest Alligator population in the country and once you get out on the water you will see why! However, Gators are just one of the many species of wildlife you will see. In just one day of paddling on the river and its connected waterways, I saw hundreds of birds (mostly Great Blue Herons, Egrets, and Ibis's) and a family of deer too. I am sure in the warmer months you can see even more. You can travel along the Suwanee river in a boat with less than 10HP, but to really get the best of the swamp you should really kayak or canoe. This will allow you to go through some of the more shallow and narrow passageways, such as Minnie's run. You will quickly find yourself surrounded by giant cypress trees, growing straight out of the water. This really has an intimate and archaic beauty, as you feel like you are in Jurassic park. Once the day turns to night, the real show begins. On a clear night, the stars are crazy bright. Seriously one of the best places for stars on the Eastern Seaboard and a must see for anyone in the area. The park pays critical attention to their light pollution and has done a fantastic job at minimizing it. This has paid off because they were even awarded top certification from the International Dark Sky Association. What I am trying to say is that this night sky is legit, you should check it out.
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Paddle to Minnie's Lake
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The paddle to Minnie's Lake from Stephen C. Foster State Park covers some of the most beautiful territory in all of the Okefenokee swamp.