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To get around the Okefenokee swamplands you will need a motorboat, canoe, or kayak, or you'll have to book a tour. Rentals and tours are arranged through individual parks and local outfitters.

Three gateways provide access to the refuge: the eastern (and main) entrance at the Suwannee Canal Recreation Area, near Folkston; a northern entrance at the privately owned Okefenokee Swamp Park near Waycross; and a western entrance at Stephen C. Foster State Park, outside the town of Fargo. There are also two small boat launches (no facilities) at Kingfisher Landing and the Suwannee River Sill on the eastern and western sides, respectively.

The surrounding towns of Folkston, Waycross, and Fargo don't offer much as destinations themselves—they primarily serve as bases from which to visit the swamp.

Camping Near Okefenokee Swamp

Laura S. Walker State Park. One of the few state parks named for a woman, this 626-acre park honors a Waycross teacher who championed conservation. The park, 9 miles northeast of the Okefenokee Swamp Park, has campsites with electrical and water hookups. Be sure to pick up food and supplies on the way. Boating, skiing, and fishing are permitted on the 120-acre lake, and there's an 18-hole golf course with a restaurant. 5653 Laura Walker Rd., Waycross 800/864–7275 www.gastateparks.org/lauraswalker.