Okefenokee Minnies Lake Worth the Paddle

Okefenokee kayak canoe trail sign for Minnie`s Lake. Cypress trees, Spanish Moss, lily pads. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 2020. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally from Dreamstime.com.

“Dad, can we go back to Minnie’s Lake today,” my daughter asked. She always loves paddling through the scenic, narrow channel of the Red Trail looking for baby alligators along the way. And then when nearing Minnie’s Lake, the scene opens up as the trees retreat the shrubs back off. There are typically gators galore… and don’t forget the rest dock and latrine!

Minnie’s Lake is under 4 miles from the Stephen C Foster boat launch. If you’re an experienced paddler, this is no big deal at all. But even if a 7.5 mile round-trip paddle seems like a daunting task, it is well worth the toil. Because of the current on the Suwannee River, the trip up to Minnie’s lake is a bit harder. If you stop paddling, you may drift downstream. But push through and you’ll have a chance to rest at the platform. The paddle home is always leisurely, allowing more opportunity to enjoy the Swamp scenes.

Young American Alligator basking on a log in Minnies Lake; Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia. March 2020. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally from Dreamstime.com.

There is always a mixture of sizes of alligators on Minnie’s Lake. The edges of the lake are lined with Spatterdock lily pads and floating masses of “gator taters” which provide perfect basking spots for even the larger alligators. They seem quite accustomed to visitors on Minnie’s Lake and will often hold their positions allowing for some great photography.

iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/42307343

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m conservation photographer and nature writer William Wise. Nature journaling and wildlife photography has been a favorite pastime since the ‘90s. I graduated from University of Georgia Warnell Forestry School's wildlife program in 1996. I'm currently an animal shelter manager/photographer and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website www.williamwisephoto.com is a wildlife and birding photo website documenting the beauty, design and wonder of creation. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. I am also a guest author at Lee's Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."

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