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Overview

In southern Georgia about an hour's drive from the coast lie the Okefenokee Swamp and the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The swamp encompasses almost 400,000 acres of freshwater bog, which sits in a bowl-like depression that was once part of the ocean floor. Composed of a delicate network of rivers, lakes, prairie and forests, the swamp waters are tea-colored thanks to the acid released from decaying vegetation. Thick layers of peat moss cover the swamp floor. More than 200 bird and reptile species thrive in this ecosystem, along with some 10,000-plus alligators. The best way to tour the swamp is by boat, either a kayak, canoe or on a ...

In southern Georgia about an hour's drive from the coast lie the Okefenokee Swamp and the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The swamp encompasses almost 400,000 acres of freshwater bog, which sits in a bowl-like depression that was once part of the ocean floor. Composed of a delicate network of rivers, lakes, prairie and forests, the swamp waters are tea-colored thanks to the acid released from decaying vegetation. Thick layers of peat moss cover the swamp floor. More than 200 bird and reptile species thrive in this ecosystem, along with some 10,000-plus alligators. The best way to tour the swamp is by boat, either a kayak, canoe or on a boat tour. Several outfitters supply boat rentals and supplies. For travelers wanting to stay top side, the Swamp Island Drive is a 9-mile loop that leads to attractions like walking boardwalks and observation towers. You can do the "drive" by car, bike or on foot.

Debra Landau
About the Expert

Debra Landau has written eight Lonely Planet guidebooks, including books on the USA, Caribbean, and the South.

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Debra Landau for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The rainy season is normally from June through September, when it's hot and muggy. Early spring or late fall is drier and cooler.