The Magic of the Okefenokee Swamp
& Stops in GA, SC, and NC

Our last blog post left off with lots of gators and we only saw more. After visiting the southwest of Florida and the Everglades, we drove north to the Okefenokee Swamp. I chose that spelling but apparently, there are many ways to spell the name of these 438,000 acres of land and mostly water. The name is Native American and means “trembling earth”. Indeed, there are small sections of moss, dirt, flora, and such that combine over many years to create a substance that you can actually stand on that is not solid ground.   

This massive area offers three entrance areas and encompasses a national park along with Stephen Foster State Park in GA (where we stayed). It was extremely quiet, except for interesting sounds from animals at night (the gators were courting). There was no cell service and it truly felt like being in the middle of nowhere. Being so far from inhabited areas made Stephen Foster Park a great place to watch the sky. We found that to be true and enjoyed seeing stars in this Dark Sky Park.

The area is composed of more water than land and there are many canoe trails to explore. There is tremendous beauty in this unique environment and lots to learn about the habitat. The park rented small boats and we took a boat tour with a very knowledgeable park ranger. One day we rented a johnboat. Then next day we rented a kayak. It was fun exploring by boat but a bit nerve-racking seeing so many alligators around as we moved through the water.

We had a great week in the Okefenokee and then we made our way north to the Augusta, GA area. There was not much to see on that drive, but we found an amazing place called Off the Hook. If you ever find yourself in Swainsboro, GA, stop there for some excellent fried seafood.  

After four hours, we landed in Wildwood Park with continued sporadic weather (we arrived with the a/c on and left with the heat on). This park has beautiful waterfront campsites on a huge lake on the border of GA and SC. It is also the headquarters of the Professional Disc Golf Association. Within the park are three challenging and long disc golf courses. Jason played all of them during our week there.

After Georgia, we headed toward South Carolina to Edisto Beach. This small island is pleasantly uncrowded and has a huge beach. Even though there is a campground on the island, we were treated to an Airbnb with family. How nice! The rental was right on the beachfront, and we saw dolphins pass by on some mornings. It was great to see Jason’s brother’s family and it’s always helpful to have access to a free laundry machine. The cold weather continued to follow us but had a few sunny days too. The visual highlight of this visit was Botany Bay Plantation. It’s a protected nature area so you are not allowed to take away shells or natural objects. There are tons of dead trees left on the beach which creates an eerie but picturesque landscape.

Finally, we wrapped up this mini-tour of the southeast by making brief stops in Greensboro, Raleigh, and Charlotte to see family, friends, and clients. It was great to reconnect with family and friends and actually meet some people in person. The last stop was back to Georgia to see family for a bit before heading up north.