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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  • Swamp trail markers at Stephen C. Foster

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  • Kayaking at Stephen C. Foster

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

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  • Wildlife at Stephen C. Foster

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

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  • Cottage 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

    Activities

    Nature Trails, 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

    Family-friendly

    Group Amenities

    Group-friendly

    Rentals

    Bicycle, Boat Rental, Canoe / Kayak

    Site Information

    Cabin / Cottage Rentals, Dump Station, Number of Sites, Pull-thru Sites, RVs Permitted, Tenters Welcome

    Suitable for Ages

    All Ages

Events

  • Paddle Under the Stars

    Paddle Under the Stars

    12/09/2016 - 01/14/2017

    Join a ranger-guided paddle as the sun sets over the Okefenokee Swamp. Watch as the last light of day fades into the dark night, leaving only the twinkling light of stars and the moon to guide the way. Look for alligator eyes glowing from your flashlight, take in a full moon or perhaps the milky way and enjoy a relaxing paddle in the swamp.

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  • Dark Sky Celebration - Astronomy Program

    Dark Sky Celebration - Astronomy Program

    12/10/2016 - 12/10/2016

    Celebrate our designation as an official dark sky site by the International Dark Sky Association. We will begin with a ceremony and follow with stargazing in the Okefenokee Swamp. The moon will be in the waxing gibbous phase, allowing us to see craters in detail. We'll also look at Venus, Mars, Polaris and Vega.

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  • Introduction to Archery

    Introduction to Archery

    12/10/2016 - 12/10/2016

    Learn the basics of archery and see if this hobby is right for you. We will provide all the equipment you need to be hitting the bulls-eye in no time. Must be 7 and up to participate. Must pre-pay to pre-register. Meet 5 minutes early at the Park Office. Program is outdoors and weather permitting. Bring water and bug spray.

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  • Okefenokee Swamp Paddle to Billy's Island

    Okefenokee Swamp Paddle to Billy's Island

    12/11/2016 - 01/15/2017

    Join our park ranger as we paddle 2 miles to Billy's Island. Once there we will dock our boats, hike the short trail, and learn about the history of life on the swamp prior to it being a refuge. Ages 5 to 12 must be accompanied by an adult. No one younger than 5 due to safety reasons. Sign up in advance.

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  • Swamper's Guide to the Galaxy

    Swamper's Guide to the Galaxy

    12/16/2016 - 01/20/2017

    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.

    Friday, December 16, 2016
    6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

    Friday, December 30, 2016
    6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

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  • First Day Hike: Sunrise on the Boardwalk

    First Day Hike: Sunrise on the Boardwalk

    01/01/2017 - 01/01/2017

    We will begin the first day of the new year by watching the first sunrise over the Okefenokee of 2017. As the swamp emerges from the dark of night, we will discuss the importance of fire, watch for birds and listen for creatures as we hike along the Trembling Earth Nature Trail.

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