Overnight Wilderness Camping - Permit Required
paddling trip through the Okefenokee is an experience that will be remembered
for a lifetime. Alligators glide through tea-colored water. Herons and egrets
wade through tall grasses and water lilies. Bears roam through hammocks and
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
is a haven for these and other animals--over 400,000 acres of wet prairies,
cypress forests, and pine uplands. Most of the refuge is designated a National
There are seven overnight shelters and three islands available in the swamp's interior (see map and trail descriptions). Remember: it is your responsibility to be prepared for a wilderness experience which includes knowing what to bring with you. Check out our brochure with map for a list of recommended items.
Consider the skill level of your
group before choosing a trail! No motors of any type (electric or gas-powered) are authorized on overnight trips, so plan accordingly. The swamp terrain is flat with only slight
currents; there is no fast water and very little dry land, BUT your paddle will
be used every inch of the way as you wind through cypress forests or cross open
prairies exposed to the sun and wind. Paddling can be slow-going and strenuous
on shallow and/or narrow trails. You may have to get out of your canoe and push
across peat blowups or shallow water. Water levels in the Okefenokee sometimes
become too low to paddle on certain trails; when this occurs reservation
holders will be notified. Swamp conditions may dictate closing certain trails.
One, two, three, and four night Wilderness canoe trips are available (only one and two night trips in March and April). You can make reservations by calling (912) 496-3331 between 7 a.m.
and 10 a.m., Monday through Friday (excluding federal holidays). Reservations
can be made two months in advance and can be made only by phone; no walk-in
reservations will be accepted. Groups are limited to 20 people.
Make a Reservation:
NOTICE: You can now view site availability on Recreation.gov. You will still need to call the canoe line to make a reservation, but set up an account today on Recreation.gov and check us out!
Reservation hotline: (912) 496-3331Monday thru Friday, 7:00 am 10:00 am, excluding federal holidays.
Permittees will be required to do the following through Recreation.gov
1. All fees for trips will be collected through Recreation.gov.
2. Any permit changes to number of individuals in the group (20 max) will be required to be made through Recreation.gov
3. All permittees will be required to print their own permits and parking placards. You may print your permit up to 7 days in advance or your trip.
Know Before You Go
Being prepared is critical for your trip into the Okefenokee. Whether you are staying one night or four, there are many things to consider as you get ready for your trip.
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Okefenokee has the great distinction of not only being a part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, but also the National Wilderness Preservation System. This designation is given to federal lands that are affected primarily by nature and where people are only visitors. Managed using minimum tools, Wilderness Areas are places where visitors can experience unconfined and solitude recreation.