Plantation Trace / Fargo

Stephen C. Foster State Park

17515 GA Hwy. 177
Fargo, GA 31631

912-637-5274 | 800-864-7275
  • Okefenokee Swamp at Stephen C. Foster.

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  • Canoe or kayak to Billy's Island at Stephen C. Foster.

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  • Stephen C. Foster Park Office & Boat Dock Area.

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  • Swamp trail markers at Stephen C. Foster

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  • Cottage at Stephen C. Foster

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  • Kayaking at Stephen C. Foster

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  • Wildlife at Stephen C. Foster

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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.

Same-day reservations are recommended for guided pontoon boat tours of the swamp. Sunset tours may be available. 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.  

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.  

Because Stephen C. Foster State Park is located within a National Wildlife Refuge, gates lock at closing and a $5 refuge fee is charged.

Info & Amenities

  • Hours of Operation

    Sunday: 7:00AM - 10:00PM
    Monday: 7:00AM - 10:00PM
    Tuesday: 7:00AM - 10:00PM
    Wednesday: 7:00AM - 10:00PM
    Thursday: 7:00AM - 10:00PM
    Friday: 7:00AM - 10:00PM
    Saturday: 7:00AM - 10:00PM

    Admission & Fees

    Refuge Fee $5.00


    Nature Trails


    Average Nightly Rate

    Call for Rates

    Facility Amenities

    Boat Launch

    Parking on Site

    Picnic Area

    Picnic Shelter

    Public Restrooms

    Rentals Available

    Self-guided Tours

    General Information


    Group Amenities




    Boat Rental

    Canoe / Kayak

    Site Information

    Cabin / Cottage Rentals

    Dump Station

    Number of Sites: 64

    Pull-thru Sites

    RVs Permitted

    Tenters Welcome

    Suitable for Ages

    All Ages


  • Midnight Meteors on the Water

    Midnight Meteors on the Water

    12/13/2017 - 12/14/2017

    Join a ranger for a night excursion on Billy's Lake by motor boat to watch the Geminids Meteor shower. We will pull the canopy off the boat to view all the stars and potential meteors above.

    *You must be staying on the park in a cabin or campsite to attend! This program takes place after the refuge and state park gates close for the night. Dress for the weather.

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  • Swamper's Guide to the Galaxy

    Swamper's Guide to the Galaxy

    12/15/2017 - 01/26/2018

    Watch for meteors, planets, observe the moon or take in all the stars above as we gaze upon a truly dark sky from deep within the Okefenokee. We will use both our unaided eyes and telescopes while we stargaze. Stephen C. Foster State Park is one of the darkest places in the Southeast due to a lack of light pollution in the Okefenokee Swamp.

    Thursday, November 23, 2017
    7 p.m. - 8 p.m.

    Friday, December 1, 2017
    8 p.m. - 9 p.m.

    Friday, December... read more

  • Constellation Cruise

    Constellation Cruise

    12/16/2017 - 01/20/2018

    Join a ranger for a guided motor boat tour as the last light of the sun fades into the night. Whether you choose a moonlit night or a night with no moon at all, you can view the silhouettes of cypress trees against the night sky, watch for gator eyes glowing at the edge of the water and spy stars, satellites, and maybe even a few meteors overhead!

    Saturday, December 16, 2017
    5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.

    Thursday, December 28, 2017
    6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

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  • Billy's Island by Night Paddle

    Billy's Island by Night Paddle

    12/20/2017 - 01/17/2018

    Join a ranger guided paddle to historic Billy's Island where we will beach our kayaks and canoes and go on a short hike. Watch as night takes over the swamp. We will talk about the different people who lived on the island throughout history. Prepare to see and hear the swamp at night just as those who lived here in the past. Ages 5 to 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

    Saturday, Oct 28, 2017
    6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

    Saturday, Nov 4, 2017
    6 p.m. - 9 p.m. read more

  • Swamp Cinema

    Swamp Cinema

    12/23/2017 - 01/14/2018

    Get ready to sit back and relax while we watch a movie under the stars on a big blow up screen. We will meet at the amphitheater near the campground.

    Saturday, December 23, 2017
    8 p.m. - 9 p.m.

    Wednesday, December 27, 2017
    8 p.m. - 9 p.m.

    Sunday, January 14, 2018
    8 p.m. - 9 p.m.

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  • Paddle Under the Stars

    Paddle Under the Stars

    12/24/2017 - 01/27/2018

    Join a ranger-guided paddle in a canoe or kayak while the sun sets over the Okefenokee. Watch the last light of day fade into the night, leaving only the stars and the moon to guide the way. Look for gator eyes glowing from your flashlight, enjoy a full moon or the milky way and enjoy a leisurely paddle in the swamp. Register in advance.

    Saturday, December 9, 2017
    5 p.m. - 7 p.m.

    Sunday, December 24, 2017
    5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

    Saturday, Dece... read more

  • Sunset Boat Tour of the Swamp

    Sunset Boat Tour of the Swamp

    12/31/2017 - 01/14/2018

    Sit back and relax while one of our rangers takes you out on Billy's Lake for a beautiful, Okefenokee sunset. Enjoy all the wildlife and the changing colors of the sky as the sun drops beneath the horizon. Listen for the sounds of sandhill cranes and barred owls echoing across the swamp and keep an eye out for gators hiding along the waters edge.

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  • First Day Hike: Suwannee River Swamplands

    First Day Hike: Suwannee River Swamplands

    01/01/2018 - 01/01/2018

    We will start the beginning of the year off at the beginning of the Suwannee River. As we hike, we will discuss the origins of the river in the swamp and where all that water is headed. We will also talk about the history of the area from the purpose of the Suwannee River Sill to turpentiners in the woods.

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