FACILITIES AVAILABLE for May 17-19:
Tent & RV Campsites / 3 two-Bedroom Cottages / Picnic Shelters
(as of May 14, 2013)
See what SUWANNEE RIVER ECO-LODGE FACILITIES are available.
Stephen C. Foster State Park Business Plan
Water levels are up and the swamp is open for boating and fishing. Guided boat tours offered daily.
This remote park is a primary entrance to the legendary Okefenokee Swamp -- one of Georgia's seven natural wonders. Spanish moss-laced trees reflect off the black swamp waters, while cypress knees rise upward from the glass-like surface. Here, paddlers and photographers will enjoy breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife. Alligators, turtles, raccoons, black bears, deer, ibis, herons, wood storks, red-cockaded woodpeckers and numerous other creatures make their homes in the 402,000-acre refuge. Stargazers will appreciate the particularly dark sky. Astronomy programs with an 18" telescope are sometimes offered.
Park staff offer guided boat tours, and same-day reservations are recommended. More adventurous visitors may wish to rent canoes, kayaks or jon boats for further exploration of the swamp, including a trip to historic Billy’s Island. Fishing in the lake is excellent, particularly for warmouth, bluegill, catfish, chain pickerel and bowfin. Boating is dependent upon water levels. Overnight guests may stay in a shaded campground or fully equipped cabins. Because the state park is located within a National Wildlife Refuge, gates lock at closing and a refuge fee is charged.
Perhaps the most famous inhabitant of the Okefenokee Swamp is the American Alligator. Officials estimate that 12,000 of the country’s largest reptile live within the 402,000-acre refuge. To safely view these creatures, visitors should admire them from a distance and keep hands and feet inside boats. Pets are not allowed in boats, even privately owned vessels. Children should not play near the water’s edge. Feeding any wildlife is prohibited. Following these guidelines will help visitors have a safe and entertaining experience in one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia.
At the park's Suwannee River Visitor Center in Fargo, visitors learn not only about the Okefenokee Swamp's ecosystem, but also how buildings can be made from recycled car parts. Located off Hwy. 441 at the Suwannee River bridge, the center mixes environmental education with engineering showmanship. Inside, visitors learn that tannic acid produced by decaying vegetation is what gives the river its tea color, and that unlike other reptiles, mother alligators actively care for their babies. A third of the building materials was made from recycled content, including a retaining wall made from old dashboards and electrical cables. Call ahead to confirm hours of operation.
Because Stephen C. Foster State Park is located within a National Wildlife Refuge, gate lock at closing and a $5 refuge fee is charged.
Park Hours: 7AM–10PM (gate locks at close; no late entry)
Office Hours: 8AM–5 PM
$5 parking. Annual passes available.
Suwannee River Center Hours:
Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Access may be restricted after heavy rain.
Call ahead to confirm hours - 912-637-5274.
ACCOMMODATIONS & FACILITIES:
- 80 Acres
- 9 Cottages ($115-$125) -- #5 is dog friendly ($45 per dog, max 2)
- 64 Tent, Trailer, RV Campsites ($25-$30) – cable TV hookups, some areas closed seasonally
- Pioneer Campground ($50)
- 3 Picnic Shelters ($35-$45)
- Suwannee River Eco-Lodge: -- (The Eco-Lodge has Wi-Fi accessibility and is located 18-miles from the park.)
- Conference Room (seats 100, $175)
- Meeting Room (seats 35, $100)
- Commercial Kitchen ($50, approved caterers only)
- BBQ Shelter ($25)
- Eco-Lodge Cottages:
#1 & 10 (sleep 8, $125)
#2, 3, 8, 9 (sleep 4, $100)
#5 & 6 - (efficiencies, sleep 2, $65)
(ADA cottages are #2, 5, 6, 9)
- Eco-Lodge Group Camp
Entire Eco-Lodge can be reserved for $800/night.
- Suwannee River Visitor Center
- Canoe, Kayak and Fishing Boat Rental - 25 miles of waterways, Park Paddlers Club, call ahead to confirm water levels
- Guided Pontoon Boat Tours ($10-$15) - space limited, depending on water levels, private tours by reservation
- Evening Boat Tours ($15-$20) - Contact the park office for reservations, dates and times. Five-person minimum.
- Boating – the ramp will be closed April 16-30 for repairs, 10 horsepower limit
- Walking -- 1.5-mile Trembling Earth Nature Trail
- Bike Rental -- (no kid bike rentals available)
- Nature Photography
- Astronomy - exceptionally dark skies, astronomy programs with 8" and 18" Dobsonian telescopes
Watch our video on the swamp.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
- Boating activities may be restricted during low water levels.
- The park is located 18 miles from Fargo and 50 miles from a major grocery store. Visitors should bring all supplies with them and have plenty of gasoline in their vehicle. The park office sells drinks, snacks, ice, books, gifts and t-shirts.
- Cell phone service may be unreliable.
- Late arrivals are not allowed due to NWR regulations. Gates lock at 10 p.m.
Make a Reservation
- 64 Campsites
- 9 Cottages
- 3 Picnic Shelters
- 1 Pioneer Camp
- 8 Eco-Lodge Cottages - Reserve
- 1 Eco-Lodge Conference Room - Reserve
- 1 Eco-Lodge Meeting Room - Reserve
- 1 Eco-Lodge Kitchen - call 1-800-864-7275
- 1 Eco-Lodge Group Camp - call 770-389-7401
Twilight Canoe Trip|
Friday, May 17, 2013 7 PM
|Come out to take a twilight paddle on the Okefenokee Swamp. Learn some basics of canoeing from certified instructors and learn about some of the animals that lurk the swamp at night. We will be providing canoes, paddles, and PFDs. Sign up in the park office by Friday, May 17th at 5:00 PM. $20 plus $5 parking. 912-637-5274.|
Sunset Boat Tour|
Saturdays 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM until Jul 27, 2013
|Dare to venture out in the swamp at night. See which creatures lurk after dark. After the sun sets, see the stars come out & the alligators’ eyes glow bright red with the aid of a spotlight. Sign up at the office; space is limited. $15 - $20. $5 parking. 912-637-5274.|