The drive on the Okefenokee Trail (Georgia Highway 177) from Fargo to the entrance of Stephen C. Foster State Park will give an indication that you’re about to be in a real wilderness. There isn’t a sign of civilization for miles.
Practically tame, White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) can often be seen grazing near the entrance to the state park.
Though the swamp had been in a drought for several years when I made these photographs, search and rescue boats were on hand to illustrate the real dangers of getting lost in the swamp.
The Trembling Earth Nature Trail is the easiest way to see a microcosm of the swamp at the park, though a boat is always best. Fred Deal designed this walkway when he attended Ware Technical school in 1967.
The boardwalk is always well-maintained. It’s a great place to watch birds. I caught a quick glimpse of this Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus).
The swamp is quite different in the winter, especially in low water.
I’ve always found alligators in abundance in the Okefenokee, but didn’t see a single one on this visit.
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) is ubiquitous. As a native of South Georgia I appreciate its beauty and place in the ecosystem.