The Okefenokee Swamp is a national wildlife refuge that is absolutely full of wildlife. Access is limited. There is a “land based” trail that ends with an observation tower, that is an easy hike, and the top of the tower offers an excellent perspective on the breadth of the landscape.
Capturing this place with a camera:
- Avoid the summer and the shoulder seasons to the summer, as the heat would be intense. There is an outdoor outfitter that can set you up with canoe tours. Also, you can take a powerboat tour, either in a group or private. There is also a local photographer who can be hired to serve as an expert guide.
- There is a very long canal that leads into the swamp. The ideal photo approach is to depart from the boat launch half an hour prior to sunrise. The reason for this is that there was a recent fire that is regenerating the entire area along that canal for the couple of miles. It is ideal to be in the more mature area of the swamp, with the thick and tall trees covered with moss, at first sunlight.
- Look patiently for alligators. They are all around, and you will want to research their habits (such as sunbathing to warm up in the mornings).
Interesting fact about this place:
- The canal that runs west and serves as the main access point into the swamp was from a failed attempt beginning in 1891 to drain the swamp of 238,120 acres, to setup a profitable lumber company. The approach to build the canal was through leased convict labor, large steam shovels, and gold miners using water hoses. Within five years, the operation went bankrupt.