Okefenokee Adventures offers guided and outfitted overnight wilderness trips into the swamp lasting from one to four nights. For a lasting life experience in one of the world’s great wetland wildernesses, this is the ultimate Okefenokee adventure. Permits are required by the Refuge and all trips are subject to trail availability and water levels.
The one-night trips are great for novice canoeists, families with kids or those with limited schedules. The two-night trips sometimes begin on the east side and end on the west side of the swamp at Stephen C. Foster State Park in Fargo. We highly recommend the 2-night, 3-day excursions as they offer the most diversity in ecological habitat and wildlife observation. Depending on trail availability we’d cover anywhere from 5 to 12 miles in a day totaling 25-30 miles of paddling over three days through evergreen shrub boglands, pine, wet prairies and loblolly bay and cypress forest. We may camp on a wooden platform or on an island depending on the trail. The platforms are partially covered and all sites have enclosed porta-potty’s.
Only our most experienced naturalists lead these trips. Along the way, they’ll talk about the cultural and natural history of the swamp and surrounding area, identify wildlife and plants and trees of interest, tell interesting swamp tales and offer moments of silence in order to hear the sounds of the swamp.
Cost includes gear, food (really good and plenty of it!) and the expertise of an interpretive naturalist. There is a separate charge for the refuge’s permit fee and additional charges for shuttle service if needed.
Trails can be reserved up to two months to the day of the trip. So, for example, if you wanted to begin the trip April 15, we can call for the reservation on but no earlier than February 15. During certain times of the year the trails may book up on the two month day. For the best chance of us obtaining a permit for your requested dates, we recommend you contact us at least 2 months plus a couple of weeks in advance.
Once a permit is obtained, the trip will be advertised so that others may join. We keep the group size small to maximize the experience. Private trips may be requested for additional fees. The cost will be determined depending on how many are in the group and the time of year. This request must be made during your initial contact with us.
The swamp is always beautiful but different seasons have different highlights. Fall is a great time because the bugs are few, the weather is fantastic and fall flowers offer lots of color. Winter brings in the migratory sandhill cranes and, if you’ve never heard the sound of dozens of cranes honking away at the same time, it’s quite impressive. The migratory cranes are here late November through early February. Winter can also be a good time to see the cranes and other wading birds. The temperatures are usually mild but we do have the occasional cold spell. Spring is beautiful but, because there is the highest demand for permits in March and April so reserving trails may be difficult but not impossible. We avoid the summer months – beginning mid-May through August – the heat and biting flies can make for a miserable experience.