Tickets for the Refuge fee:
Because of the time change from DST to EST, the sun will set at 5:30 PM, so Shirley has moved the gather and launch times an hour earlier, to “give everyone time to get to Floyd’s and set up camp before it gets dark. Saturday we will be on the water by 9 a.m. so come early enough (8 AM) to have your boat loaded. Remember to have a bow line on your kayak to tie off at Minnie’s Shelter, the only rest stop. It may also come in handy if we have to get out and drag through low spots. If we want a campfire, it helps to carry firewood. I’ll bring some that we can divide up and everyone can carry a piece or two. Sunday will be a leisurely launch time.”
This is primitive, wilderness camping and paddling at its best.
To come on this outing be sure that you are comfortable paddling your loaded boat for 9 miles against a moderate current with only 1 stopping point to get out for a break. Minnie’s Lake platform is the 4 mile lunch stop, then 5 more miles to Floyd’s Island.
Yes, there will be alligators in the heart of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.
After overnight camping in the Okefenokee Swamp, paddling the second day back down the Middle Fork and the main Suwannee River is very easy floating out with the current and provides excellent opportunities for picture taking.
When: Gather 8 AM, launch 9 AM, end overnight, Saturday, November 19, 2022
Day 2: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, end 2 PM, Sunday, November 20, 2022
Put In: Stephen C. Foster State Park Boat Ramp
GPS: 30.826833, -82.361333, 17515 GA-177, Fargo, GA 31631. From Fargo, travel south on US 441 to CR 177; turn left and travel to Stephen C. Foster State Park, in Charlton County, Georgia. Paddlers usually put in down the access road from the ramp, at the west entrance to the one-of-a-kind Okefenokee Swamp.
Take Out: Floyd’s Island
Be on Time: It is a Refuge requirement to be on the water by 10 a.m. for overnight trips so plan to be there at 9.
Cell phones: There is no cell phone reception at the state park; however, there usually is service on the island.
Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat, paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit.
Plus camping gear (hammock or tent, sleeping bag, etc.), food for lunch, supper, breakfast, and lunch again, and plenty of water, plus lights for night.
Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.
Mosquitoes can be bad at dusk so come prepared.
There is plenty of room on the island for any type of tents/hammocks. There is a portapotty, due to its remote location it can only be serviced by helicopter, which doesn’t happen often.
The state park has camp sites, kayaks & canoes for rent and a store for basic supplies & souvenirs.
Camping is also available nearby at Griffis Fish Camp, if you’d like to come Friday afternoon.
Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) a day for non-members.
So that’s $20 for the two days.
You can pay the $20 at the outing, or online:
The Wildlife Refuge charges $15 per day, per person, non-refundable, this includes your parking permit; see above.
We recommend you support the work of WWALS by
becoming a WWALS member today!
Duration: 2 days
Paddle: 9 miles, 5 hours.
Host: Shirley Kokidko
Contact: Shirley Kokidko
Backup: in case of high or low water or bad weather is: Cancel.
More: For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS outings web page, https://wwals.net/outings/. WWALS members also get an upcoming list in the Tannin Times newsletter.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!