The Stephen C. Foster State Park on Jones Island comprises a very small portion within the entire National Wildlife Refuge. The park was named after Stephen Collins Foster (July 4, 1826 – January 13, 1864), known as “the father of American music.” He was an American songwriter primarily known for his parlor and minstrel music; among his best-known are “Oh! Susanna”, “Camptown Races”, and “Old Folks at Home”, which laments about a return to the Suwanee River, whose headwaters make their origin in the Okefenokee swamp.
Way down upon the Swanee River,
Far, far away.
That’s where my heart is yearning ever,
Home where the old folks stay.
The State Park serves as a great base camp for daily swamp excursions. The campground is comprised of two loops of RV spots with electricity and water spigots. Though somewhat close together, each site is separated by thick brush and saw palmetto, and seems somewhat isolated from neighbors.