Visiting the Okefenokee Swamp is truly a unique adventure. The landscapes are in a constant fluctuation, with marshes, lakes and islands taking on a special beauty. Travelling there in an RV motorhome makes it all the better, as you will have a perfect place to retire at the end of the day to tell the tales of the day’s adventures. The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is in southern Georgia and extends into northern Florida. This area has forests and wetlands that give you all the space to explore you could imagine.
Once you arrive, you’ll want a home base from which to operate. The Okefenokee Pastimes Campground is a great place to stay in your RV motorhome while visiting Okefenokee Swamp. Located at the Okefenokee’s East Entrance, this campground has free WiFi, nature trails to explore and even a pond for fishing. You will find water, 30 amp electrical service, sewer hookup and dump station. Then after you are settled, you can decide what form your exploration will take. You can enjoy guided tours on boats through canals, forests and prairies. Or you can do your own self-guided tour and use the convenient observation towers and boardwalks to experience the park.
Wildlife in the Okefenokee Swamp will hold you enthralled. February will offer a wide variety of birds such as wild turkeys, red-tailed hawks and ospreys. In March you will see alligators sunning on the banks of the riverways, sandhill cranes dipping for fish and ducks who stayed for the winter.
Hiking in Okefenokee Swamp offers treks through amazing habitats and you’ll have a special view of the areas so popular here. The Phernetton Trail is a short hike on a loop trail and the Longleaf Pine Interpretive Trail is a bit longer, at four miles, which takes you through the upland forests. If you love birds, you’ll want to hike the very short loop trail, Upland Discovery Trail, where you can observe the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. There is a whole colony here.
Visit Chesser Island to see the Chesser Island Homestead. This is where a family settled in the late 1800s and made a living from the land by fishing, growing crops and trapping animals. The forests here held a wide variety of wildlife, and still do. You can see the Chesser home looking as it did when they lived in it and raised their family. The last family members left in 1958 and the maintenance of the property makes it a place where others can see what life was like in the swamp.
You can actually hike to the island on Ridley Island Trail from Swamp Island Drive. Once on the island you can enjoy a short loop trail, the Chesser Island Homestead Trail, which will give you the opportunity to get a feel for the area and how it must have been to live here. Don’t miss the other trail nearby called Deer Stand Trail.
Driving through the swamp is possibly the best way to see everything. You should take the full Swamp Island Drive before you leave Okefenokee Swamp. There are a number of stops along the way where you can view wildlife, hike or get some history of the region. What a great trip this has been!