Monday, February 5, 2018

Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Many years ago, I read about another RVer visiting the Okefenokee swamp. They are nature lovers and really enjoyed the experience. It has been on my list of places I wanted to see. We left Eastbank campground on January 29 and drove the 190 miles to Stephen C. Foster SP. This is a Georgia State Park. We have not been to a Georgia SP since we were in Atlanta, the month before I retired 4+ years ago. I checked on line and they had plenty of room, so we headed that way.

This was the first time we had been towing since the truck repair and the truck ran great! I was a happy guy.

We arrived and found a park that is a little rough. The rate of $35 per night, plus $5 entrance fee, is a bit high, so we limited our stay to 3 nights. The sites are a sand mixture and with the recent rain were a bit muddy. We found a good site for us and with the help of 4 wheel drive got the rig into place. The 4X4 was needed to get the trailer up on blocks. The site was not very level.  We were surrounded by tall pines and a few cypress. We had almost no cell signal. The crazy thing is they have cable TV. It is an old analog system, but we got 19 channels with a fuzzy picture. They even have a washer and dryer at the bath house. 

A little mud, glad I have 4X4. Those are not all my tracks.
We headed right out for a walk to see the area. There are a number of hiking trails around the park. There is a boardwalk out into the swamp that is very cool. Kim stayed with me for a while, but then went back to camp and did some laundry. I continued on and was able to see a few birds and enjoy the quiet of the swamp. As it got close to dusk, the animals started to move. Here are a few wildlife shots:

Pileated Woodpecker
I saw a group of about 10 deer. They did not seem to be concerned about me.

Then I saw a large group of Turkey. These look much different than the turkey in Missouri.

That night we had a full moon. I played with some camera settings, but was not able to get it right. It was cool to walk around at night in the dark swamp without a flashlight.

It was pretty windy and cold the first two days we were there, so we decided not to get the boat out. The weather was looking nice on January 31, so we decided to take a boat tour that is given by the SP. The cost of the tour is $15 per person. We had a very good naturalist tour guide.

We used the boat with the white top
It was just us and one other couple. David and Laura are from Austin, Texas and travel in a large truck camper with their dog Scruffy. Scruffy writes a blog. He is quite a dog. We ended up going over to their campfire later that evening and had a very nice visit. You can check out Scruffy's writing at

We learned a bunch on the trip from our guide, Josh. He was very low key, but very knowledgeable. He was also great at finding the wildlife.

We had not gone far and he was pointing out otters. There were a few of them, but I could not get a good picture. We did see a number of other animals.

A number of good sized gators

Thanks to Josh, we were able to check out this very nice Barred Owl
Sandhill Crane
We moved on up through Billy's lake that is not more than 50 yards wide. Then we turned on a small channel that was tight and had some amazing scenery. The beautiful blue skies created some very nice reflection shots.

After a 1.5 hour ride, that was well worth the $15, we headed back to the dock. When we arrived, there were a few baby gators that we sunning by the boat dock.

Two baby gators
We really enjoyed our time at the Okefenokee swamp. We plan to go back and do some paddling, now that we know the water and how to get around. This was another one of those stops with great wildlife and nice people that we meet on the road. Now we are headed north. North??? Why would we head north in February? We are not going very far. We are heading over to the coast of Georgia to see some places we have seen before and some new ones. This time we will take our time and learn about the history of these places and see as much of the sights as possible. Come back to follow along.


  1. Awesome wildlife shots! All we see here is hummingbirds, doves and the occasional roadrunner!

    1. The desert has it's own beauty. Can't wait to hear about the race.

  2. Love the area... looking forward to us finally heading north out of Florida in about 3 weeks

    1. This is certainly one of those places that is worth some time.