The guidebooks say that the Kingfisher Landing entrance in the Okefenokee Swamp is the least used boat launch for the National Wildlife Refuge. And on my first visit to this eastern access, I found out why…
Since it consumes 438,000 acres of the southeastern corner of Georgia (yes, hundreds of thousands of acres), the Okefenokee Swamp is hard to miss. Even on an unmarked aerial photo, the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge stands out as a giant green swath bordered by four highways. This natural wonder is well-advertised by billboards, murals and signs in the nearby towns, often decorated with alligators and wading herons.
The three main entrances are hard to miss. But the Kingfisher Landing entrance is a bit more obscure. One small sign marks the turn off the highway. Immediately after making that turn, you cross the railroad tracks and travel back in time. The plain, dirt road makes one feel like he’s completely lost his way. Two dogs even darted out from a small house to chase us a bit. The shifting sand and ruts could provide a bit of a challenge to those in a compact car!
If you follow that dirt road far enough, you come to a small parking lot and one simple kiosk. Kingfisher Landing certainly lacks the fanfare of the Okefenokee Swamp Park or Okefenokee Adventures area. But more obscure means less people! On my first November visit, mine was the only vehicle in the parking lot upon arrival, and it was still there all alone at the end of a day’s paddling. I travelled north on the red trail for five miles, and then a couple of miles south on the green trail. For an entire day I didn’t pass a single soul. Just me and the Okefenokee! Well worth the trouble of finding this lesser-used entrance!
The Kingfisher Landing entrance to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia is lesser used, and therefore allows solitary enjoyment of the swamp landscape.
My wife and I were at the Kingfisher Landing last week. There is an ancient piece of logging equipment just a few yards down the trail at the parking area. It is still sitting on the rails that it ran on and I presume it was used to pull cypress logs out of the canal to be loaded on log trucks.
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I missed it when I was there. From what I’ve read, the parking area and old equipment were left from the Peat Moss mining days. Lots of history in the Okefenokee!
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Hello William. Very nicely written!!! As one who enjoys hiking in the Lord’s beautiful Creation, it is precious to be in a part where the way is marked but I’m the only one there (I and the Lord, that is).
Your wonderful narration made me reminded of such, and a peaceful thought it was.