Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region

Okefenokee's Five Entrances

There are three major entrances and two secondary entrances to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, each with its own facilities and special character. From the open, wet “prairies” of the east side to the forested cypress swamps on the west, Okefenokee is a mosaic of habitats, plants, and wildlife. Entrance fees are required at each entrance, inquire at the phone numbers below for more specific information and regulations.

Discover Okefenokee — one of your national wildlife refuges.

East Entrance

Suwannee Canal Recreation Area (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
This is the main Fish and Wildlife Service entrance, located 11 miles southwest of Folkston. The area includes a picnic area, Swamp Island Drive, hiking trails, and a restored 1920s homestead.

Refuge concession Okefenokee Adventures works in partnership with the refuge to provide guided boat trips; rent camping gear, bicycles, motorboats and canoes; operate a gift shop; collect entrance fees; and provide food service. You may reach Okefenokee Adventures at (912) 496-7156.

Make sure to stop at the Richard S. Bolt Visitor Center, where you can plan your visit at the information desk, shop in the bookstore, watch an award-winning movie, and try out fun interactive exhibits about the Okefenokee. At the center you may climb a tower into the cypress canopy, explore beneath the waters in a Swamp Sub, listen to an animatronic storyteller, or enjoy the Swamp Songs jukebox. Call (912) 496 7836 for more information. The visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday in July, August, December, and January. It is open seven days a week the rest of the year. Entrance Fees are required.

Hours of Operation
March 1 - October 31, 1/2 hour before sunrise - 7:30 pm
November 1 - February 28, 1/2 hour before sunrise - 5:30 pm

Map & Directions

West Entrance

Stephen C. Foster State Park (Georgia State Parks)
This entrance is located on the west side of the refuge, near Fargo, GA on refuge land leased to the State of Georgia. Stephen C. Foster State Park offers campgrounds, cottage rentals, boat and canoe rentals, a playground and recreation area, a small museum, and a small store. State Park naturalists provide programs and information.

The West Entrance has the same fee collection system as the east side, since it is located on refuge property. There is an additional fee for camping, boat rentals, and cottage rentals. Call (912) 637-5274 for information, 1-800 864-7275 for cabin reservations. Entrance Fees are required.

Hours of Operation
Main Gate 6:00 am - 10:00 pm
Office Hours 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Suwannee River Sill

The sill is a secondary entrance to the swamp and is reached by the same road as Stephen Foster State Park. Visitors may launch boats (when water levels allow), fish, or hike along the 5-mile earthen dam. Two parking lots, kiosk, and restroom are available. Visitors must sign in and out of the landing for their own protection.

A new paved 1.25 mile drive leads to the 2nd parking lot, boat ramp, and the first water control structure. Beyond that, you can walk 1.5 miles out to the first breech in the Sill.

Entrance fees are required at the Suwannee River Sill.

Hours of Operation
Sunrise to Sunset

 

North Entrance

Okefenokee Swamp Park (private, non-profit)
Located just south of Waycross, GA on Highway 121, Okefenokee Swamp Park offers a different type of swamp access. It features a reconstructed pioneer village, souvenir sales area, serpentarium, boardwalk, and viewing areas for alligators, river otters, turtles, deer, and bear. There is an admission fee, with additional fees for boat tours. Five- and ten-mile tours are also available at an extra cost when water levels permit. (912) 283-0583 General Admission Charge.

Hours of Operation
Open year round 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.)

Kingfisher Landing

Kingfisher Landing is located about 13 miles north of Folkston, GA along U.S. 1. It features a boat landing, information kiosk, and composting toilet. Visitors must sign in and out of the landing, for their own protection.

Wilderness Canoeing

The refuge features over 120 miles of canoe trails; about 70 are also open to motorboats. If visitors are interested in overnight wilderness canoe permits, they must make reservations no more than two months in advance through the refuge. Call between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. Monday through Friday at (912) 496-3331.

Last updated: June 10, 2013