The Okefenokee Swamp is an incredible natural wonder in the Southeastern corner of Georgia, near Waycross. This 400,000 acre Swamp is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the word. The biggest attractions are the Alligators and various snakes that call it home. On the northern corner of the refuge is the Okefenokee Swamp Park. Your destination for a safe and amazing adventure!
What To See and Do
This is the place that you are guaranteed an interesting and very accessible peek into the great Okefenokee Swamp. Here is where you can see all the natural aesthetics of the Swamp but in a manner that doesn’t involve long hikes or boat rentals. Alligators can be found sunning themselves in ponds near the entrance and swimming the canals near the train depot. It is rare for them to approach visitors as they prefer to not let anyone come close to them. Alligators, Snakes, and Black Bears are all on exhibit at the Swamp Park, conveniently behind enclosures. Tours are offered by the park in flat bottom tour boats or by a small but effective train ride. Ticket packages can be bought that include your preferred means of travel. There is a small snack bar for beverages and eats. However, the nearest restaurant is in Waycross, Georgia, a 10 minute drive. Folkston, Georgia is about 20 minutes South on HWY 1. The Okefenokee Swamp Park also displays the history of the Swamp and it’s settlers very well. The gift shop was stocked aplenty and had all kinds of fun souvenirs. The park’s price of admission is reasonable but added up quick for our family of six. Save money by taking a family member from a neighboring county! Local residents get a decent discount with some kind of proof of address. Have them buy your tickets and take the savings. Weekends are busier and look out for the hotter months of June, July, and August.
Where To Stay
Waycross, Georgia has many good hotels within about a 15 minute drive of the Swamp Park. My recommendation is that you look into the cabins at Laura S. Walker State Park. We have stayed in them and they are very clean and comfortable. The park also offers camping with a few sites along the waterfront at Laura Walker Lake, as well as several full hookup campsites, but those sites book up very fast. Laura S. Walker has a dog park, playgrounds, an 18 hole golf course, as well as paddle boat and kayak rentals.
Christmas at The Swamp Park
Okefenokee Swamp Park is great to visit around Christmas time as well. They deck the place out with Christmas lights everywhere! Santa is there to hang out with and the train takes you on a Polar Express kind of ride, with, you guessed it! More lights! It can be quite cool in the Winter, even in South Georgia. As such there is usually a large fire burning in a very neatly built fire pit and hot cocoa available at the snack bar. Do not miss this fun and enjoyable Christmas activity! Availability for this event runs through most of December. Christmas is always an adventure at the Okefenokee Swamp Park!