Families have come to Folkston for years to explore the Okefenokee Swamp, part of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Sportsmen have come from all over for the abundant fishing, hunting, hiking, paddling, bird watching, and golfing. And more recently, the town has become a magnet for train watchers and history buffs.
Folkston is the main entrance to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge which offers something for everyone. Boating, birdwatching, hiking, cultural and natural history abound. Stop in the Richard S. Bolt Visitor Center, hike on the upland trails, take a boat tour, visit the Chesser Island Homestead and the Chesser Island Boardwalk. There are many ways to visit the Okefenokee, so plan to spend a day or more exploring one of Georgia’s Seven Natural Wonders.
The Okefenokee is considered the headwaters of the Suwannee and St Marys Rivers. It provides habitats for many threatened and endangered species, such as red-cockaded woodpeckers, wood storks, indigo snakes, and a wide variety of other wildlife species. It is world-renowned for its amphibian populations that are bio-indicators of global health. Also, more than 600 plant species have been identified on refuge lands.
The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge has 353,981 acres of National Wilderness Area within the refuge boundaries. In addition, the refuge is a Wetland of International Importance (RAMSAR Convention – 1971) because it is one of the world’s largest intact freshwater ecosystems.
One way to explore the Okefenokee is with the help of Okefenokee Adventures, located inside the main entrance to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. This outfitter offers guided-interpretive tours of portions of the refuge, canoe, kayak, and bike rentals., a café, and a gift shop. A secondary entrance to the refuge, Kingfisher Landing, is 13 miles north of downtown Folkston on U.S. 1/GA Hwy 121. This entrance offers a boat ramp, restroom facilities for day-use and overnight visitors, and access to the Red and Green trails.
If you’re ready to escape the demands of day