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Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge & Florida Caverns
April 28 @ 8:00 am - April 30 @ 5:00 pm
Chip and Joy Campbell, Proprietors, Okefenokee Adventures; (The Campbells were selected by Georgia Wildlife Federation as Conservation Educators of the Year)
John Manion, Kaul Wildflower Garden at Birmingham Botanical Gardens (sixth time leading this trip)
Friday-Sunday, April 28, 29, 30
Location: Marianna, FL and Folkston, GA
Members $315 | Non-Members $335
This journey to one of the world’s most distinctive ecosystems never fails to impress. We will travel by car, foot, motorized boat and canoes/kayaks.
Friday, April 28: The trip will begin by first visiting Florida Caverns State Park as a way to break-up the drive from Central Alabama to Folkston, GA. We will spend time traversing the park’s trails to see some fascinating geology and flora. When finished we will proceed to Folkston, Ga, the location of our motel.
Saturday, April 29: We will depart our motel at 8 a.m. and drive 12 miles to Okefenokee Adventures, where we will meet Chip and Joy Campbell, the proprietors of the concession in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Chip will co-lead the on-the-water parts of our trip with John Manion. We will board a motorized boat and spend the first half of the day exploring select areas of the swamp, stopping frequently to observe and discuss plants, birds, mammals, reptiles and cultural history.
Mid-day we will return to Okefenokee Adventures, where participants will either have lunch they brought or purchase at the café. After lunch we will navigate by car, the Swamp Island Drive to the Chesser Homestead built in 1927, where a tour will give us an idea of what life was like for the family that lived there.
We will next hike the nearby boardwalk leading to the Owl’s Roost Observation Tower which provides sweeping views of the surrounding areas. On the drive back to Okefenokee Adventures, we will make several roadside stops, where some of the most interesting plants may be found. I.e. pitcher plants, orchids, etc.
That evening, back at Okefenokee Adventures, we will dine on Joy Campbell’s notorious “low country boil,” accompanied by John’s famous (infamous?) homemade cocktails, before retiring to our overnight accommodations back in Folkston.
Sunday, April 30: At 8 a.m. we will return to Okefenokee Adventures where we launch our canoes or kayaks for a more intimate look at portions of The Swamp. Mid-day we will we will have a leisurely lunch (provided) on one of the platforms out in the swamp before eventually returning to the landing. Upon returning to our launch site, participants are urged to visit the Park Headquarters (where they sell an excellent selection of nature-related books), and tour the museum, there. We will then say a fond farewell to the “Land of the Trembling Earth” before returning home.
Overnight Accommodations: We have been given a reduced rate at the Western Motel in Folkston. This is an inexpensive ($67/room, including tax) no-frills place. Make sure when reserving a room to mention you are with Joy Campbell’s Okefenokee group.
1207 S 2nd Street
Folkston, GA 31537
Trip Cost Breakdown:
Entrance fees to the State Park and the Swamp Refuge
Cost of guides
All equipment (motorized boat, canoes/kayaks, safety equipment)
Dinner & drinks Saturday evening (low country boil)
Lunch on Sunday
Drinks & snacks while on the water
Does Not Include:
Transportation to destinations
Motel cost ($67/night per room with two beds)
Meals, except low country boil, and lunch on Sunday