Blog, Georgia Trails

Paddle Back in Time – The Okefenokee Swamp

When we travel to different places around the Country and seek some epic adventures, the one that stands out to us, is a paddle through some of the oldest swamp land in our Country. The Okefenokee Swamp is like going back in time. In fact, when we kayak through the Okefenokee, there is a feeling of pre-historic vibes as we see giant Sanhill Cranes not to mention huge Alligators.  Full grown they may reach twelve to fifteen feet in length and weigh 700 pounds. And there is nothing like Kayaking right over them.

We always plan to do at least 3 nights when we go. Of course our route always depends on water level. You never get to plan your own route unless the water is high enough throughout the swamp. When it’s lower, the Ranger Station will tell you what’s available. So your plan should be flexible when you go. Make sure you Plan Your Visit and talk to a Ranger before you paddle. You need to have a permit for overnight stays. 

The Okefenokee Swamp offers so much beauty and adventure. Depending on when you go, it’s something that we guarantee you will be a high Adrenalin adventure, while at the same time, be somewhat relaxing. What? There are times when it’s so quite and cereal. You are in a swamp with nothing to hear but nature and the sounds of your paddle hitting the water. Other times when you see a multitude of Alligators looking at you by the banks, you heart beats just a little faster.

The best part of doing a overnight is camping on large wooden platforms in the middle of the swamp. They all have portapotties on them and a canopy. You can pitch your tent right on the wooden deck. So bring a campstove and have a gourmet meal in a swamp. Check out our LIVE video we did from one of the platforms.

The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is an impressively vast expanse of wilderness swamplands covering approximately 700 square miles, located within the southeast corner of Georgia.

So what is the Okefenokee Swamp? It’s crisscrossed by over 120 miles of paddle and motor boat water trails. It is a major destination for wetlands, nature lovers and paddlers alike. The swamp has a distinctive and fascinating natural history. Okefenokee means “land of the trembling earth” in Choctaw Indian language, a reference to the quivering ground of boggy areas. The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge was officially established in 1937 to preserve one of America’s oldest freshwater systems, an important habitat for an abundance of plants and animals that live in its 400,000 acres.

We travel down to Folkston GA every year to do a 3 day 3 night paddle. If you are interested in going with us, keep checking our events page or sign up for our Newsletter to get up to date info. In the meantime, here is our YouTube Video about our trip last year. Or listen to our Podcast straight from the Swamp

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In 2003 I completed a Thru-Hike on the Appalachian Trail. Since then I have over 12,000 miles underfoot and 20 years of backpacking, and camping experience. Certifications include WFA, WFR, LNT Trainer, and belong to AORE. Have been guiding backpacking trips for over 10 years. The outdoors has taught me one thing. Trusting the Trail! really does provide everything a person needs.

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