The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge covers nearly a half million acres and is the largest blackwater swamp in North America. After several years of drought in the early 1990s, the rains have returned, and with it, the fish populations. Before that, it was also home to Swampers, Crackers, people who were social outliers. My ancestors. The earliest known inhabitants of the Okefenokee Swamp were the Timucua-speaking Oconi, who dwelt on the eastern side of the swamp. More than 600,000 acres (240,000 ha) of the Okefenokee region burned from April to July 2007. The Okefenokee Swamp is one of the five largest swamps in the world. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is an awesomely vast expanse of wilderness southern swamp covering approximately 700 square miles and located mostly in the southeast corner of Georgia, U.S.A. Wilderness Canoeing. okefenokeensis. The rains have not significantly improved the pH of the water, as it is not a whole lot less acidic than lemon juice. Most of the swamp is a National Wildlife Refuge, protecting the plants and animals that call the swamp home. The refuge was established in 1937 to protect a majority of the 438,000-acre Okefenokee Swamp. Address: 5700 Okefenokee Swamp Park Road Waycross, GA 31503. Smoke from the fires was reported as far away as Atlanta and Orlando. Okefenokee National Preserve. The Okefenokee swamp is a unique wetland system made up of peet beds, island prairies, open lakes, creek channels, and cypress forests. We paid an additional $50 so that we had a private tour (due to pandemic). Rena Ann Peck, Executive Director of Georgia River Network, explains "The Okefenokee Swamp is like the heart of the regional Floridan aquifer system in southeast Georgia and northeast Florida. Gated and closed to public use, it provides access for fire management of the interface between the federal refuge and the surrounding industrial tree farms. The Okefenokee is the largest "blackwater" swamp in North America. brian m wrote a review Aug 2020. The Okefenokee Swamp is home to many wading birds, including herons, egrets, ibises, cranes, and bitterns, though populations fluctuate with seasons and water levels. There’s 3 sections of the Okefenokee swamp. Enjoyed both. Enjoyed both. Check out this page to find out more information on visiting the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge including fees, entrances, etc. Download and use legally from Dreamstime.com. Upland areas support southern coastal plain oak domes and hammocks, thick stands of evergreen oaks. The Okefenokee was formed over the past 6,500 years by the accumulation of peat in a shallow basin on the edge of an ancient Atlantic coastal terrace, the geological relic of a Pleistocene estuary. The Okefenokee Swamp is a shallow, 438,000-acre (177,000 ha), peat-filled wetland straddling the Georgia–Florida line in the United States. Georgia Jumps Fire Lines", "Bird Checklists of the United States: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge", http://www.fws.gov/okefenokee/PDF/honey%20prairie%20fire%20declared%20out.pdf, "South Georgia wildfire forces evacuations; ash reaches Jacksonville", "GA Firefighters Report Progress Against West Mims Fire In Okefenokee", "The Ballad Of Gator Mcklusky lyrics - Jerry Reed original song - full version on Lyrics Freak", GeorgiaEncyclopedia.org: Natural History of the Okefenokee Swamp, FWS.gov: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge website, Gorp.com: Okefenokee Swamp and National Wildlife Refuge, Charlton County: Okefenokee Swamp historical marker, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve, Autrey Mill Nature Preserve & Heritage Center, Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Museum & Nature Center, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance Outdoor Activity Center, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Okefenokee_Swamp&oldid=995595862, National Natural Landmarks in Georgia (U.S. state), Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia (U.S. state), Articles with dead external links from July 2016, Articles with permanently dead external links, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The name "Okefenokee" has appeared many times in American pop culture, including, in 1962, Los Angeles sisters Jonell and Glenell McQuaig, known as "The Holly Twins," recorded an atmospheric song with swamp creature sound effects, "Okeefenokee. ", The Okefenokee Swamp is considered to be one of the, in 1973, the Okefenokee was mentioned in the Hollywood film, This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 22:30. The Okefenokee Swamp Okefenokee Overview: The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is a 402,000‑acre National Wildlife Refuge located in Charlton, Ware, and Clinch Counties of Georgia, and Baker County in Florida, United States. Okefenokee Adventures offers guided and outfitted overnight wilderness trips into the swamp lasting from one to four nights. About 400,000 people visit the swamp annually, with many from distant locations such as Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, China and Mexico. If you want lunch order it from gift shop and will be ready for you when you complete yr tour! Beautiful day for a swamp tour. Named the Bugaboo Scrub Fire, by May 31, it had burned more than 600,000 acres (240,000 ha), or more than 935 square miles, and remains the largest wildfire in both Georgia and Florida history. Would do again and highly recommend. Our guide was friendly and very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. He was very informative and we learned a lot. Chip's knowledge of the swamp, it's chemical composition & it's ecological makeup are unsurpassed. Would do again and highly recommend. A majority of the swamp is protected by the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and the Okefenokee Wilderness. There was a reptile show, smore, This is park far exceeded my expectations. The swamp, which straddles the Florida-Georgia state line, is the largest blackwater swamp in North America. As of January 2012, the Honey Prairie fire had already scorched more than 315,000 acres (127,000 ha) of the 438,000-acre (177,000 ha) Okefenokee, sending volumes of smoke across the southern Atlantic seaboard and with an unknown impact on wildlife. It creates an ideal home for wildlife. The mounds on the swamp's larger islands probably are vestiges of ceremonial centers or the compounds occupied by the Okonee elite. The girls in the office were also very helpful. The Okefenokee Swamp is considered to be one of the… Staff is very friendly and helpful. In writing two essays on the Okefenokee Swamp, the first in 1988 and the latter in 1990, the author uses two contrasting styles to assert his or her personification of the swamp. Okefenokee / St Marys River Named Most Endangered River of 2020 by American Rivers American Rivers named the Okefenokee Swamp and St. Marys River as one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2020, citing the threat titanium mining would pose to the waterways’ clean water, wetlands and wildlife habitat. Helpful. The swamp is bordered by Trail Ridge, a strip of elevated land believed to have formed as coastal dunes or an offshore barrier island. Only 18,206 acres (7,368 ha) burned outside the refuge. The St. Marys River, which drains only 5 to 10 percent of the swamp's southeastern corner, flows south along the western side of Trail Ridge, through the ridge at St. Marys River Shoals, and north again along the eastern side of Trail Ridge before turning east to the Atlantic. okefenokee swamp swamp trees georgia florida. Plan on touring the north. The Okefenokee Swamp is part of the Southeastern conifer forests ecoregion. [1], The name Okefenokee is attested with more than a dozen variant spellings of the word in historical literature. Jim our guide for the park was an expert on all things wild, so much information and so very friendly. Firefighters managed to contain the fire within the boundaries of the 402,000 acre Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. With the drought still continuing, the massive Honey Prairie fire continued to burn at only 75% containment. Okefenokee swamp tour 5/5 We had an excellent guide, a seventh generation resident of the area. It is a vast and imposing wilderness, and has been a protected National Wildlife Refuge since 1937. Not to mention Chip's a fair bit of a camp cook as well! It is also a critical habitat for the Florida black bear. The life-force of water from the Okefenokee Swamp not only flows into the St. Marys River to the Atlantic Ocean, but also into the Suwannee River to the Gulf of Mexico. Enjoyed it a lot! … Farmsteads were probably scattered among smaller islands and the edges of the swamp. The Suwannee River originates as stream channels in the heart of the Okefenokee Swamp and drains at least 90 percent of the swamp's watershed southwest toward the Gulf of Mexico. The Okefenokee is the largest "blackwater" swamp in North America. The graded Swamp Perimeter Road encircles Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. A 50-year titanium mining operation by DuPont was set to begin in 1997, but protests and public–government opposition over possibly disastrous environmental effects from 1996 to 2000 forced the company to abandon the project in 2000 and retire their mineral rights forever. In addition, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Okefenokee Swamp Park, provides the northernmost access into the Okefenokee Swamp near Waycross, Georgia. We will be happy to recommend Okefenokee Adventures to anyone seeking out a very different journey Modern-day longtime residents of the Okefenokee Swamp, referred to as "Swampers", are of overwhelmingly English ancestry. Beautiful well kept park with lots to do and see. Covering 438,000 acres, it is primarily located in Georgia but also crosses the border into Florida. Very Clean. The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is a 402,000‑acre National Wildlife Refuge located in Charlton, Ware, and Clinch Counties of Georgia, and Baker County in Florida, United States. The St. Marys River and the Suwannee River both originate in the swamp. Okefenokee Swamp Park (North) - A private non-profit facility, this entrance is located eight miles south of Waycross. The Okefenokee's largest mammal is the Florida black bear, Ursus americanus floridianus, and reportedly can grow to 400 pounds, though they generally average approximately 150 pounds, smaller than the average Appalachian bear. A perfect day in the park and swamp! The swamp has many species of carnivorous plants, including many species of Utricularia, Sarracenia psittacina, and the giant Sarracenia minor var. Learn more about its entrances, wildlife, canoe & kayak trails, camping and history. Okefenokee Swamp covers around 700 square miles, almost half a million acres, and spans the Florida and Georgia border. Our family recently decided to take a trip into Georgia to visit the Okefenokee Swamp, located less than two hours away. Most of the swamp is protected by the Okefenokee National Wildlife Area and the Okefenokee Wilderness which takes up part of Charlton, Ware and Clinch Counties in Georgia and Baker County in Florida. Der Okefenokee Swamp ist eine Sumpflandschaft am Südende Georgias direkt an der Grenze zu Florida gelegen. The Okefenokee is a swamp, a National Wildlife Refuge and a U.S. wilderness area. The swamp was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1974. Public Domain. Many visitors enter the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge each year. The Okefenokee Swamp is a shallow, 438,000-acre, peat-filled wetland straddling the Georgia–Florida line in the United States. State Road 2 passes through the Florida portion between the Georgia cities of Council and Moniac. The Okefenokee Swamp could certainly be viewed as a watery Garden of Eden from a Native American perspective. Park was an expert on all things wild, so much information and so very friendly Native perspective. 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