STEPHEN C. FOSTER STATE PARK, GA

Photo: STEPHEN C. FOSTER STATE PARK
This remote park is a primary entrance to the legendary Okefenokee Swamp -- one of Georgia's seven natural wonders. Spanish moss-laced trees reflect off the black swamp waters, while cypress knees rise upward from the glass-like surface. Here, paddlers and photographers will enjoy breathtaking...

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Description

This remote park is a primary entrance to the legendary Okefenokee Swamp -- one of Georgia's seven natural wonders. Spanish moss-laced trees reflect off the black swamp waters, while cypress knees rise upward from the glass-like surface. Here, paddlers and photographers will enjoy breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife. Alligators, turtles, raccoons, black bears, deer, ibis, herons, wood storks, red-cockaded woodpeckers and numerous other creatures make their homes in the 402,000-acre refuge. Stargazers will appreciate the particularly dark sky. Astronomy programs with an 18" telescope are sometimes offered.

Park staff offer guided boat tours, and same-day reservations are recommended. More adventurous visitors may wish to rent canoes, kayaks or Jon boats for further exploration of the swamp, including a trip to historic Billy’s Island. Fishing in the lake is excellent, particularly for warmouth, bluegill, catfish, chain pickerel and bowfin. Boating is dependent upon water levels. Overnight guests may stay in a shaded campground or fully equipped cabins. Because the state park is located within a National Wildlife Refuge, gates lock at closing and a refuge fee is charged.

Perhaps the most famous inhabitant of the Okefenokee Swamp is the American Alligator. Officials estimate that 12,000 of the country’s largest reptile live within the 402,000-acre refuge. To safely view these creatures, visitors should admire them from a distance and keep hands and feet inside boats. Pets are not allowed in boats, even privately owned vessels. Children should not play near the water’s edge. Feeding any wildlife is prohibited. Following these guidelines will help visitors have a safe and entertaining experience in one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia.

At the park's Suwannee River Visitor Center in Fargo, visitors learn not only about the Okefenokee Swamp's ecosystem, but also how buildings can be made from recycled car parts. Located off Hwy. 441 at the Suwannee River bridge, the center mixes environmental education with engineering showmanship. Inside, visitors learn that tannic acid produced by decaying vegetation is what gives the river its tea color, and that unlike other reptiles, mother alligators actively care for their babies. A third of the building materials was made from recycled content, including a retaining wall made from old dashboards and electrical cables.

Recreation:

Canoeing, Kayaking, motor boats, boat tours, fishing, hiking, camping, stargazing, and bicycling, business retreats, family reunions, birthday parties, weddings, bird watching, educational programming

Facilities:

Cabins/Cottages, Campsites, picnic shelters, conference rooms, group lodge, museum’s, group shelters, visitor centers, pioneer/group camp

Nearby Attractions:

Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Laura Walker State Park, Crooked River State Park, Suwannee River Eco Lodge, Suwannee River Visitor Center

Services & Amenities:

Within Facility
  • Amphitheater
  • Bike Rentals
  • Boat Launch
  • Boat Ramps
  • Boat Rental
  • Boat Rentals
  • Canoe Rental
  • Canoe Rentals
  • Canoeing
  • Dump Station
  • Fire Ring
  • Fire Rings
  • Fishing
  • Handicap Access
  • Hiking
  • Naturalist
  • Parking
  • Picnicking
  • Pit Toilet
  • Playground
  • Public Telephone
  • Rent Bicycles
  • Restrooms
  • Sewage Dump Station
  • Showers
  • Staff Residence
  • Telephone
  • Toilet, Pit/Vault
  • Visitors Center
  • Washer/Dryer
Alerts and Important Information
Parkpass is required for all vehicles.
ParkPass fees: 1-12 passenger vehicles $5 per day or $50 annual ParkPass;
13 - 30 passenger vehicles $30 per day or $75 annual ParkPass;
31 or more passenger vehicles $70 per day or $250 annual ParkPass;
Georgia active duty military/veterans $3.75 per day or $37.50 annual ParkPass.

ParkPass is available at the park office or by calling (770) 389-7401.
Overnight guests pay only one fee for the duration of their stay.

  • Stephen C. Foster State Park is the west entrance for the Okefenokee Swamp and the only entrance actually completed located inside of the refuge. Stephen C. Foster State Park manages two other locations located 17 miles south inside of the city of Fargo, the Suwannee River Visitor Center & Suwannee River Eco Lodge
  • If booking a reservation for The Suwannee River Eco Lodge guest must contact Stephen C. Foster State Park Office directly before arrival.
  • Due to Stephen C. Foster location inside of the national wildlife refuge gates close promptly at 10pm and reopen at 7am. Access in or out, of park, cannot and will not be granted during these hours

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

STEPHEN C. FOSTER STATE PARK
17515 HIGHWAY 177
FARGO  GA  31631

Phone Number:

Information:  (912)637-5274