Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region

Trail Descriptions


Follows the historic Suwannee Canal, which was dug in the late 1800s in an attempt to drain the swamp. Canal Run Shelter is ten straight miles from the east entrance, on the berm of the canal. Past Canal Run Shelter are five miles of narrow, winding trail that leads to Billy's Island. Follow Billy's Lake two miles to Stephen Foster State Park. Low water levels between Canal Run and Billy's Island often mean navigating stumps and peat blow-ups, and encroaching side vegetation.


Kingfisher Landing to Maul Hammock is a long day of paddling twelve miles through scrub-shrub, prairie, and small lakes. The eleven miles between Maul Hammock and Big Water go through prairie, narrow closed channel and into a wider river channel surrounded by cypress. Both days are long and difficult. The Big Water Shelter is at the north end of Floyd's Prairie. The last nine miles go through prairie, cypress forest, and Billy's Lake.


Kingfisher Landing to Bluff Lake is eight miles along a channel originally cut for peat mining and across open prairies full of pitcher plants. The next nine miles to Floyd's Island take you from Durdin Prairie to Territory and Chase Prairies. Between are narrow closed-sided channels that may be difficult paddling during low water levels. The overnight shelter on Floyd's Island is a hunting cabin built in the 1920's. There is a short portage across the island. Floyd's Island to Stephen Foster State Park is eight miles of prairies and cypress forests, ending in Billy's Lake.


To reach Cravens Hammock, you paddle 5 miles through the Narrows to the Suwannee River Sill. Follow the trail through five more miles of mixed cypress, bay, and gum swamp to an oak-covered hammock. Trail condition varies with water levels--there can be a strong current through The Narrows, which may make the return trip difficult. Cravens Hammock is currently closed.


The Purple Trail winds through Chase Prairie, leading to Round Top Shelter, which boasts a 360 degree view of the prairie. Windy days can make paddling difficult, but the shelter is worth the trip, especially when the moon is full.


The Blue Trail connects the Orange Trail with the Green Trail and skirts the edge of Chase Prairie through deeper holes, which are good fishing areas. It is used mainly as a route from the Orange Trail to Floyds Island.


Last updated: March 2, 2012