Paddle to Minnie's Lake

Added by Christian Murillo

Take an awesome paddling adventure through flooded cypress forests, straight from Stephen C. Foster State Park in the Okefenokee Swamp. This paddle to Minnie's Lake will have you feeling like you are in a different world!

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.  Not only will you immerse yourself in beautifully flooded cypress forests, but you will also see plenty of wildlife along the way.  Bring your Canoe, Kayak, or SUP on this 7.6 mile round-trip paddle to experience the true beauty of the swamp. 

Note: You can rent boats, canoes, and kayaks from the state park state office.  Most boats cannot make it to Minnie's Lake.

You will start your paddle from the boat ramp at Stephen C. Foster State Park and follow the old logging canal out to the headwaters of the Suwannee River. Once you get to the main body of water, you will head to your right and paddle in the gentle upstream current.  Along this main section of the river, you will see many birds, alligators, and turtles basking in the sun.  

After just a mile, you will see a sign for Minnie's Lake to your left. Follow that sign and you will continue up an increasingly narrow channel of water.  Soon enough you will find yourself completely surrounded by hundred year old cypress trees. During the dry season (Winter & Spring), you will see that some of the trees are growing straight out of the swamp water, but most are growing on land. Once the rains come in, the water level rises by several feet and floods the whole forest.  

During the next two miles of paddling through the narrow creek, you just might have the opportunity to see some wildlife from pretty close range. However, always respect these animals and keep a safe distance from them whenever possible.  

A little less than half a mile away from Minnie's lake, you will find a sign indicating that the lake is just ahead.  Once you get to the lake, you will see a rest shelter with an outhouse to your left.  This provides a great opportunity to grab a snack and stretch your legs out.  

After you are rejuvenated enough for the paddle back, turn back just the way you came.  This 7.6 mile paddle takes about 3-4 hours to finish, maybe faster, depending on your pace and paddling experience.  With that said, note that boats are not allowed on the water after dark so plan accordingly.  

In the cooler winter months, bugs are not much of a problem, but unfortunately the same cannot be said for the other 9 months of the year.  Load up on bug spray, snacks, and water and you should be set for a great time! 

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🥇Top Contributor

3 months ago

Bring a bug net

If you're coming in summer/warmer months, I'd highly recommend bringing along a bug net and plenty of bug spray. They can get a little relentless and you don't want it to spoil your adventure. If you time this right, however, you can get some amazing photos in the evening hours. Keep an eye out for wildlife, too, there's plenty of it.

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