Cypress trees rise up out of the water, dripping Spanish moss from their branches. Water lily-filled lakes and marshlike prairies harbor alligators and turtles that bask on logs and slide into the water at the slightest noise. Wading birds such as herons, sandhill cranes, and egrets hunt for their fish dinners, while frogs croak and trill. The Okefenokee's primitive wetlands harbor hundreds of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. It is crisscrossed with more than 100 miles of canoe trails, and visitors can best see its natural wonders by touring on the water.
The refuge has three main entrances, and all offer canoe rentals and boat tours as well as wooden boardwalks and observation platforms. Day-trippers have plenty of paddling options since a number of the canoe trails are short enough to traverse in an afternoon. Families wishing to spend a night or two can reserve wooden platform tent sites along the canoe trails or book a room near the western entrance of the park.
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge Information
Address: Folkston, GA
Hours of Operation: Dawn - Dusk
Admission: $5 per vehicle
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations In North America and Tropical Family Vacations.