The night before our launch, we will meet at Traders Hill Campground in Folkston GA and camp among huge and beautiful Live Oak Tree's. We will prep for the next morning's early morning paddle and get to know each other.
FRIDAY, DAY 1 : Kingfisher Landing to Maul Hammock - total paddling distance 12 miles
We will begin our paddle Friday morning, launching at the Kingfisher Landing. Heading North East, we navigate through tall prairie grass and multiple open lakes overflowing with lily pads. The trail is intimate and exciting as it winds through different open swamp lands, creating a peaceful paddle to acclimate to your surroundings.
By the time you're ready to get up and stretch, we will have reached camp at the most open of platforms in the swamp, Maul Hammock. Upon arriving we will pitch our tents directly on the platform as we watch the sun set from a 360 degree view of the Lake. Then settle in for one incredibly peaceful night under the stars, weather permitting of course! Bring your fishin' poles, cause here at this site the fishing is said to be superb!
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO PLACES TO PULL OVER AND GET OUT OF YOUR BOAT FOR BATHROOM USE ON THE FIRST DAY, UNTIL ARRIVING AT CAMP. No big deal, but you will NEED to bring a portable urination dispenser of your choosing. This can be emptied at night on the platform as there are outhouses for our use.
Approximate paddling time should be 6-7 hours, depending on our speed as a group.
SATURDAY, DAY 2 : Maul Hammock to Big Water - total paddling distance 8 miles
Today we head directly South into the center of the Okefenokee Swamp. This is the BEST paddling waters in the swamp by far, as we will be navigating through still forests featuring the largest and oldest cypress trees remaining in the swamp. This paddle narrows and thins for short intervals, always opening into breathtaking scenery. This 8 mile paddle offers more diversity in one day than any other route in the swamp. The stillest black mirrored waters - lakes hugged by thick blankets of spanish moss - old cypress forests leaving you in awe.
Exiting these forests, the trail abruptly widens to expose the Big Water's iconic wooden platform. To the left of camp is thick old-growth forest mirrored in the seemingly black swamp water; to the right wide open canals ample with deer and wildlife.
Approximate paddling time should be 5-6 hours, depending on our speed as a group. Our paddling time will be more leisurely and slower moving this day, due to the route's attributes.
SUNDAY, DAY 3: Big Water to Stephen C Foster State Park - total paddling distance 8 miles
Prepare yourself for yet another beautiful and even more leisurely paddle, traversing through to the other end of the Swamp to Stephen C Foster State Park. Due to the trail's width and openness, you will likely get the honor of seeing gators basking in the sun on fallen logs...or even swimming discreetly among us! We'll head South East for an easy 10 mile journey back to our car, enjoying the mirrored reflections the swamp's iconic blackened waters provide.
There is option this day to explore one of the two swamp islands (Billy's Island) where you can dock, get out on foot and explore the swamp in yet another unique personal way.
Approximate paddling time should be 4-5 hours depending on the speed of the group, or desire to explore Billy's Island.
For those who would like to participate, we will set up in a very quite place along the swamp and record our Trust The Trail Podcast with you as our guests.
You will have the option to camp one last night at back at Traders Hill where a historically EPIC FEAST of tasty foods are grilled and devoured we celebrate being back on firm land and share our experiences of The Okefenokee Swamp as a group! Option to leave and drive back home is totally okay too! Price of campsite NOT included in pricing this night.
Kayak or Canoe, PDF, Paddles are included in this trip.
GEAR - this is much like backpacking, but rather than carrying it on your back...instead you have to put everything in a small boat. Gear should be stored in dry sacks. You will be exposed to the elements the majority of the trip - please plan accordingly!
GEAR: tent or hammock (tent stakes not necessary) and groundcloth / sleeping bag / sleeping pad / cooking set, fuel and lighter / rope to hang food / 5-7ft durable rope to tie your boat to dock / headlamp / suitable dry bags – at least three bags per person (for your sleeping bag, clothing, food) - you do not need a backpack as all your gear will be in dry sacks in a boat / portable urination dispenser or empty bottle necessary for use as needed / first aid kit including bug spray, anti itch, benedryl, sting relief, sun protection and toilet paper recommended / small lightweight camping chair or cushion if desired
CLOTHING: one set of warm dry clothes to sleep in / one short sleeve shirt and one long sleeve shirt to wear while paddling / comfortable pants to wear while paddling (the inside of your kayak may become very wet, as no skirting is offered)/ rain jacket required, rain pants optional / down jacket or warm jacket (you will be exposed on the platforms at night, expect chilly nights)/ water shoes, sandles or comfortable lightweight shoes to wear while paddling / camp shoes or booties to change into at night / underwear / socks as needed / hat and sunglasses to paddle in - warm beanie as preferred to change into at night / lightweight gloves as preferred at night / HIGHLY SUGGESTED lightweight gloves to paddle in (we prefer to use bike gloves as they offer full access to your fingers, while still protecting your palms for long paddling days)
PLEASE MAKE CERTAIN YOUR SLEEPING BAG, PAD AND CLOTHING ARE IN DRY SACKS TO KEEP FROM GETTING WET AND INEFFECTIVE IN KEEPING YOU WARM. Doubling up 2 garbage bags would work, if you do not have dry sacks.
FOOD and WATER: 2 BREAKFASTS while on the platforms / 3 days of LUNCHES AND SNACKS on the water while in boat – keep lunches and snacks accessible for easy access / 2 DINNERS while on the platforms / 1 ADDITIONAL BREAKFAST and 2 ADDITIONAL DINNERS to be consumed while at Traders Hill Campground before and after trip
IMPORTANT - YOU MUST BRING 1 GALLON OF WATER PER PERSON PER DAY. THE SWAMP HAS NO POTTABLE WATER AND FILTERING SWAMP WATER ISN'T GOING TO BE AN OPTION. ALL WATER MUST BE PACKED IN WITH YOU!
PLEASE MAKE NOTE THAT YOU ARE EXPOSED THE MAJORITY OF THE TIME (BOTH WHILE ON THE WATER AND AGAIN AT NIGHT ON THE PLATFORMS), SO PLEASE PLAN YOUR CLOTHING AND GEAR ACCORDINGLY. WE WILL STILL KAYAK EVEN IF RAINING OR HIGH WINDS! South Georgia temps this time of year will likely range at around low 45 to high 75. THIS WILL VARY AND BE FURTHER DISCUSSED CLOSER TO TRIP DATE.
TOWARDS THE END OF MARCH UNIQUELY BRINGS THE BEGINNING OF SPRING FEVER IN THE SWAMP! Alligators are often more active in preparation for mating season therefore your chances to see them greatly increase! Be certain to pack those cameras, as you won't want to miss an opportunity to boast about all the wildlife your encounter! Additional wildlife abundant to the area are river otters, water turkey, great blue heron, great egret, barred owl and a multitude of frogs, just to name a few. Chances are you'll experience just about every one of these this time of year!
IMPORTANT: THE SWAMP HAS NO POTTALBE WATER AND FILTERING SWAMP WATER ISN'T GOING TO WORK. YOU MUST BRING ONE GALLON OF DRINKING WATER PER PERSON PER DAY. NO EXCEPTIONS.
We will hang our food, just as we do in the Wilderness, as raccoon and other wildlife do inhabit the swamp.
We will be on the water prior to 10am and off the water BEFORE dusk. Our permit requires us to be OFF the water before DUSK...we will be respecting this, therefore you also are expected to. But seriously, trust us...you wouldn't want to be out there during feeding time anyways... !
Early Friday morning, we will pick up our boats and transport to Kingfisher Landing from Okefenokee Adventures. Please be respectful of the expected timeframes and plan accordingly.
PRICE IS $340 PER PERSON w/KAYAK RENTAL
*PRICE IS $265 PER PERSON WITHOUT KAYAK RENTAL *must be able to carry enough gear for 3 days.
- Campground Tent site Fees for one night
- Okefenokee Swamp ALL Permit & Parking Fees
- Kayak or Canoe Rental Fees, Paddle and PFD (Personal Flotation Device)
- Overnight Platform Camping for 2 nights in Remote areas of The Okefenokee Swamp
- Breakfasts Included
- Experienced WFR Guided Service (Wilderness First Responder)
- Trip Itinerary PFD's and Gear Lists
- 4 years of Guided experience in the Okefenokee Swamp
- Ecological Diversity and Wildlife Observation