Programs & Private Tours at Stephen C. Foster State Park

Stephen C. Foster Logo

Come explore one of Georgia’s seven natural wonders through a variety of private programs offered at the park. Located deep within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Stephen C. Foster State Park provides access to some of the most scenic sections of the swamp. Listen for the barred owl hooting deep within the forest, follow in the footsteps of Native Americans, pioneers and loggers on Billy’s Island and watch for alligators as you float along in your boat. Programs are dependent on the water level and staff availability. Thank you for considering Stephen C. Foster State Park.

Private Tours

Private tours by motor boat, canoe or kayak are offered for a variety of destinations and time lengths. Times may vary due to conditions in the swamp. There is no minimum persons for tours. Destinations include:

Billy’s Lake

Cruise the deepest section of the Okefenokee and the headwaters of the historic Suwannee River on Billy’s Lake. Keep an eye out for alligators lounging in the sun and for birds soaring overhead.

Minnie’s Run

A trip up Minnie’s Run gets you up close and personal with the swamp. This narrow, natural waterway cuts through a dense forest of towering pond and bald cypress. Glide past beautiful flowers like the fragrant water lily and keep an eye out for baby alligators sunning themselves on fallen logs.

Minnie’s Lake

After a trip up Minnie’s Run, emerge onto Minnie’s Lake where cypress trees surround you, four miles into the swamp. Have a picnic on a floating platform on the lake while you take in the scenic beauty and peaceful nature of this part of the swamp.

Billy’s Island

Look close and the remnants of man’s presence on this island become more and more clear. Though fire and the Civilian Conservation Corps removed most evidence of human activity on the island, visitors can still see the Lee family cemetery, rusty remnants of the logging camp, and an Indian mound while walking a short trail through what remains of the site.

Big Water

A trip to Big Water is more than just a boat ride. This trip is a true adventure ten miles into the swamp. This tour will take you deep into the interior of the swamp, as far as we can take you. This will be a 6+ hour trip depending on conditions.

Sunset Tour

See the swamp in a new light. Watch as the sun casts a brilliant, warm glow over the swamp while birds roost and alligators patrol Billy’s Lake as the day turns into night. After the sun sets and the flashlights come out, watch for the orange glow of alligator eyes lurking in the shadows of the swamp. If the sky is clear look up to see one of the darkest and most dazzling displays of stars in the southeast.

Call for private tour pricing. Estimates of tour lengths can be found below.

Motor Boat Tours

  • 1.5 hours Minnie’s Run tour
  • 2 hours Billy Island tour
  • 2 hour sunset tour
  • 2.5 hours Billy’s Island and Minnie’s Run tour
  • 4 hours Minnie’s Lake tour
  • 6 hours Minnie’s Lake and Billy’s Island tour
  • 6 hours Big Water tour (maximum 4 people)

Paddle Tours

  • 2 miles roundtrip to Hollow Tree on Billy’s Lake
  • 4 miles roundtrip to Turnaround Tree in Minnie’s Run (day and night tours offered)
  • 4 miles roundtrip to Billy’s Island
  • Sunset Tour varies in length

School and Organized Groups

We offer a variety of options for school and organized groups to experience the Okefenokee Swamp.

Motorboat Tours

  • We offer 45 minute tours for school groups.
  • We offer 1.5 hour tours for groups less than 21 people.

Paddle Tours

We offer tours by canoe and kayak to the Hollow Tree.


  • Astronomy
  • Reptiles
  • Swamp Topography
  • General History/Living History
  • General Swamp Information


  • Birding
  • Habitat
  • Wildfire
  • Pollinators
  • Night Hikes

Boy Scout Merit Badges

Programs for Boy Scouts can cover a variety of swamp related topics. Taking the merit badge program does not guarantee badge requirements. Topic examples:

  • Wilderness Survival
  • Nature
  • Birding
  • Astronomy

Teachers, Chaperones and other Group Leaders

Teachers, chaperones and group leaders will be responsible for maintaining discipline of their group. Any continued disruptive behavior that affects the quality of the experience for the other participants is unacceptable, as is any activity that is destructive to the grounds. Although these cases are rare, should they occur, they will be reported to the participant’s leader. Failure to act after that point could end with the termination of the program without refund.

Trading Post Store

We encourage our school groups to visit our Trading Post Store as a rotation. If you choose this please be advised: Teachers please allow no more than 10 students in the store at a given time. Please have a chaperone in the store any time there is even one student shopping or looking in the store. If “shopping” is a rotation in the field trip, you can rotate children in and out as they leave OR you can give them a time frame in which to shop and rotate entire groups of 10 in or out.