Stephen C. Foster State Park

Stephen C. Foster State Park
Reservations 800-864-7275
Park 912-637-5274

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» Boating Notice:
› Boating activities may be restricted during low water levels.

» Visitor Notices:
› 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.
› Cell phone service may be unreliable.
› Late arrivals are not allowed due to NWR regulations.

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. 

Same-day reservations are recommended for guided pontoon boat tours of the swamp. Sunset tours may be available. 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.  

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.  

Because Stephen C. Foster State Park is located within a National Wildlife Refuge, gates lock at closing and a $5 refuge fee is charged.

$5 refuge parking fee.

Park Hours:

7 a.m.–10 p.m.
Gates lock at 10 p.m. No late access.

Office Hours:

8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Accommodations & Facilities:

• 80 Acres
• 9 Cottages ($150)— #5 is dog friendly ($45/dog, max 2)
• 64 Campsites ($28–$35) — some seasonal
• Pioneer Campground ($55)
• 3 Picnic Shelters ($40–$50)
Suwannee River Eco-Lodge — located in Fargo, 18 miles from park

Things to Do & See:

Programs & Private Tours
• Kayak & Canoe Rental — 15 miles of waterways
• Park Paddlers Club
• Boat Rental — 10 HP limit
• First Time Camper Program
• Fishing
• Walking — 2.5-mile Trembling Earth Nature Trail; guided hikes at 8:30 a.m. ($2)
• Bike Rental
• Birding
• Archery — call to reserve
• Nature Photography
• Astronomy -- exceptionally dark skies
• Playground
• Geocaching

Nearby Attractions:

• Fargo Golf Course
Golden Isles of Georgia
Laura S. Walker State Park
• Okefenokee Adventures
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
• Okefenokee Swamp Park
• Suwannee Canal Recreation Area
Suwannee River Eco-Lodge
The Lakes Golf Course at Laura S. Walker
Waycross, Georgia

Make a Reservation
  • 64 Campsites - Reserve
  • 9 Cottages - Reserve
  • 3 Picnic Shelters - Reserve
  • 1 Pioneer Camp - Reserve
  • Suwanee River Eco-Lodge Facilities in Fargo, Georgia, 18 miles from Stephen C. Foster State Park - Learn More
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Okefenokee Swamp Paddle to Billy's Island
Wednesday, Oct 26, 2016 4 PM to 7 PM
Wednesday, Nov 2, 2016 4 PM to 7 PM
Join our park ranger as we paddle 2 miles to Billy's Island. Once there we will dock our boats and learn about the history of life on the swamp prior to it being a refuge. We will finish our trip by watching the sunset on the paddle back to the park.  $20-$25 plus $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Swamp Cinema by the Fire
Friday, Oct 28, 2016 8 PM to 9:30 PM
Gather around a fire with your fellow campers and a ranger and munch on s'mores while the sun sets. Then get ready to sit back and relax while watching vintage nature documentaries. We will talk about what has changed and what has remained the same. S'mores supplies will not be provided by the park. $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Pumpkin Carving
Saturday, Oct 29, 2016 12 PM to 1 PM
Come carve pumpkins with us on Halloween weekend! We will have a limited amount of pumpkins available, which will come with a goodie bag. We will also have limited carving tools to be shared among the group. Meet at the Trading Post.  $5 plus $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Nightfall on Billy's Island: Boat Tour
Saturday, Oct 29, 2016 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
On this special trip we will walk the trails of Billy's Island with only flashlights to guide the way. We will listen for the eerie call of the Barred Owl echoing through the trees while discussing the people who once walked through the forests of Billy's Island. On the way back, the new moon will yield a sky full of stars over the Okefenokee.  $20–$25 plus $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Sounds of the Swamp Night Hike
Sunday, Oct 30, 2016 7 PM to 8 PM
Sunday, Nov 6, 2016 7 PM to 8 PM
Sunday, Nov 20, 2016 7 PM to 8 PM
Join a ranger for an hour-long hike along the Trembling Earth Nature Trail. We will watch the sunset and then look for nocturnal creatures and discuss their unique adaptations. Please wear closed-toed shoes and bring a flashlight.  $2 plus $5 parking. 912-637-5374.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Crafts for Kids: Leaf Etching
Saturday, Nov 5, 2016 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM
Saturday, Nov 19, 2016 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM
Join a ranger as we learn how we can responsibly use nature to make art. We will use already fallen leaves to create beautiful etchings on paper. We will also learn about the different tree species common to our area. $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Sunset Boat Tour of the Swamp
Saturday, Nov 5, 2016 5 PM to 7 PM
Sit back and relax while one of our rangers takes you out on Billy's lake for a beautiful, Okefenokee sunset. Enjoy all the wildlife that the Okefenokee has to offer from alligators to the magnificent birds as they roost for the night. Tours dependent upon water levels and weather conditions.  $15 - $20 plus $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Dark Sky Celebration - Astronomy Program
Saturday, Dec 10, 2016 5 PM to 7:30 PM
Come celebrate our designation as an official dark sky site by the International Dark Sky Association. We will begin with a ceremony and follow with stargazing in the famed Okefenokee Swamp. This designation signifies that our park has minimal light pollution and that we will continue to minimize our own lighting impact to preserve our dark skies. $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Handicapped AccessibleGet Outdoors Georgia
Stephen C. Foster State Park
17515 Highway 177
Fargo, GA 31631
Clinch County

GPS Coordinates:

N 30.8269500 | W -082.3621000
Located 18 miles northeast of Fargo at the end of Highway 177. Note that GPS directions are often not accurate; consult a highway map.

Park directions map

Stephen C. Foster State Park
17515 Highway 177
Fargo, GA 31631 View Details

Stephen C. Foster State Park