The Okeefenokee swamp is located in south Georgia and Florida.
The area is approximately 700 square miles and is the largest swamp in North America.
You can easily spend a full day or more in the park capturing a glimpse of the many species of birds, reptiles, plants, mammals, fish, and amphibians.
We entered the park in Waycross, Georgia 59 miles west of I 95 at the US 82 exit in Brunswick Georgia.
The park is very accommodating with a gift shop, information center, restrooms, boat tours, a train tour, 92’ observation tower, snack and gift shop, and a reptile show.
As we approached the welcome center two alligators, one huge and the other medium size sat out in the open. They sit so still that I questioned whether or not they were real.
There is an admission fee, with several discounts offered including the senior discount. We passed on the boat tour because we did not allot enough time. The park closes before dark unless they are hosting a night event or light show.
The signs throughout are a constant reminder that the animals can be dangerous, I understand the frequent postings because the setting is so serene that it would be easy to let your guard down.
As we approached the welcome center two alligators, one huge and the other medium size sat out in the open. They sit so still that I questioned whether or not they were real or part of the attraction.
I was excited about the observation tower but it offered me a challenge. It is accessible by boat or walking through the swamp…yikes…they have a walkway that is about 6 inches above the water. Of course, the release of liability required to be signed was only the beginning of my apprehension. My first time out there i just couldn’t do it.
Most of the boardwalk is high enough to feel comfortable and the animals mostly come out at night , but you never know..I doubt they follow a rule book
My second try at the low board I looked straight ahead and walked quickly. I was so relieved to see the steps going up at the end. On our way back I walked in front of my husband. When I got halfway I thought this is it, I did it, and then I heard the splash! I ran and then I heard a big splash! When I jumped up on the steps, I forgot all about Hubby. I called out for him and he didn’t answer because he was standing real still and quiet. Anyways, he finally came up a few minutes later and said “I think it was a small gator or a snake”…So folks if I go back again I’ll take the boat. Children under 18 are not permitted on the walkway and should not go on it..I ‘m usually not a scare-dy cat but this is the real deal, there are no mechanical animals here.
The observation tower is a treat for birdwatchers at 60 feet, but to take photos and see the view of the 25 mile radius on a clear day I made my way to 92 feet. You can see the blackwater winding creeks and way down upon the Suwannee River🎶
The tour guide on the train was very informative, and had a personal relationship with the wildlife. The dominant alligators have names and their behavior is monitored and studied. Mating season is in late March.
The reptile show was very interesting and I would suggest it for school age children.
Temperature was 65 degrees, and sunny. No bugs bothered us, and best of all there were no “litter bugs” the water was sparkling and only the habitants were floating around..
Happy travels 🙂 through America. Share the good advise from the swamp
You know, I sometimes think you live in an idyllic part of the world. Today I’m not so convinced! I’ll watch from a distance but better yet give the swamp a wide margin. I know we’re all God’s creatures but I really can’t abide alligators. Yes, I am a scaredy cat 🙂 🙂
Thanks for dragging me along behind you, Alice. (incidentally, two of your paragraphs repeat- about the signs and the big and little allies outside the welcome centre?)
Thanks for inviting me along on this walk. Not a big fan of gators in person, but it was fun all the same. Glad you escaped from the carnivorous plants. 🙂
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