The Refuge provides other opportunities for exploring, wildlife viewing, and learning about the cultural history of the Okefenokee. Swamp Island Drive is a 7.5 mile round trip self-guided driving tour with numerous walking trails along the way. The main highlights on this drive are the Chesser Island Homestead and the boardwalk to the observation tower. You can explore by car, bicycle, and on foot.
The Chesser Homestead is an historic swamp family home originally built in 1927. It’s a great way to see how swamp pioneers lived during those times. Depending on the time of year, there may be a docent available providing tours and interpretation. There are several sheds surrounding the home displaying old tools, livestock pens, and cane syrup production.
The boardwalk is ¾ mile long and runs through dense swamp growth and open prairie. It has sheltered rest stops along the way and ends at a 50-ft. observation tower with an extraordinary view overlooking Chesser Prairie.
There are shorter walks around the boat basin and along the Suwannee Canal. And for kids, young and old, there is an Animal Olympics ‘playground’.