I had a chance to visit the Okeefenokee National Wildlife Refuge near Folkston and Waycross, GA, last Saturday. The Okeefenokee Swamp is the headwaters of the Suwannee River, and, as a member of the Lower Suwannee Friends group I was interested in seeing our "birthplace." I had not been in the Okeefenokee since I was a boy and my uncle used to take me fishing there. It is a wondrous place of almost 500,000 acres. A concessionaire provides canoe and boat rentals, guided tours, etc. Okeefenokee is an indian word meaning "Land of the Trembling Earth" for its floating islands of matted vegetation. It is made up of a series of swamps and underwater prairies. The prairies are about 3'-4' deep most of the time, but do go dry during droughts. The photos here are of Chesser's Prairie and the canal leading out to it.
The Refuge is open daily from dawn to dusk.
Due to coronavirus concerns, the headquarters building is closed to visitors. However, staff are working as usual and the Refuge is open for appropriate recreational uses including boating, hiking, fishing, biking, and birding.
The Refuge Manager Andrew Gude can be reached by text or phone at 703.622.3896.
Hunting Information from the Refuge Manager
The print version of the 2019-2020 Hunt Regulations Brochure is now available at Refuge headquarters. For a digital version,
click on the photo below.
For Information about getting a Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge Hunt Permit and a Deer Bag Report, Click Here
To Apply for a Permit to Hunt on the Lower Suwannee Refuge,
For a copy of the Deer Harvest Log, Click Here
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