Okefenokee trip photos

Kayak Ken, Frank, and I paddled out of the Suwanee Canal Recreation Area Thursday Feb 23 to a platform on Monkey Lake. Friday we paddled to Coffee Bay, and then back out Saturday. We saw 362 gators, and paddled 23.5 miles. Frank and I drove down Wednesday in the rain, and camped under a pavilion at Traders Hill RA near the SCRA. The weather was great and the mosquitoes almost nonexistent. The stars at night were brilliant as the moon was near new, and the light pollution nonexistent. At the Coffee Bay platform a small about 5’ gator was determined to get past my MRC explorer 16 we must have beached in his crossing from the Suwanee canal to the marsh on the other side of the high ground. The trip was a real pleasure.

The turnoff from the Suwanee canal to Monkey Bay

big gator

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhil cranes in flight

juvenile White Ibis

adult white ibis

Pitcher Plants

Small gator heading out from his stay in the marsh back to the Suwanee canal. He even nudged the canoe over so he could get by at Coffee Bay.

Paddling the Suwanee canal back to the take out.

baby gator

Castoff thanks for sharing, great pics. When it comes to the oke and gators it has been feast or famine for me. Warm weather and low water bring tons of gator sightings, cold weather and higher water makes for scarce viewing.

I’ve never been tempted to visit in the summer (bugs, heat, humidity) but have enjoyed winter and spring trips. Did you have to battle the coons?

Hi Tony, we didn’t see any raccoons, but I kept my food in the tent. You are right about the gator sightings being conditions dependent. I have seen them every trip I have made to the Okefenokee, and now have paddled from all 3 access points. It really is a worthwhile winter early spring trip for those wishing to escape the frozen north. However it can also be bone chilling cold in the winter because of the potential humidity, and just above freezing weather. This trip the gators were out in the most numbers i have ever seen.

We’ve had a wonderful time up there in a cool, rainy December. Heavy mist on the water all day made for some great photos. We still saw several alligators. Four weeks ago, we paddled in very sunny warm days, I didn’t bother to count the 'gators. They were plentiful! We just did a couple of day trips out of Stephen C. Foster.

Hi tjalmy, I have paddled from all three main launches in the Okefenokee they are Kingfisher, SCRA, and SFSP. I have to say the Okefenokee is a great place to paddle. I hope to camp at most of the sites some day. So far I have camped at Bluff Lake, Monkey Lake, Coffee Bay, Mixon Hammock, and Floyd’s Island.

We were in the Everglades a couple of weeks ago… Just day paddling… It was 90 and there were gators everywhere! Just chilling out… they weren’t far from water… We paddled the Turner River and gators were right across it.

I have only paddled the Oke from the east side once. Four times from Stephen Foster. One day the gators were right across Billy’s lake like toll takers…

Nothing like in March hearing the bull gators roar. I will never forget that sound

I agree when big bull gators roar it is memorable. I remember the first time I heard one in Micanopy, FL on Barr Prairie. I think being in touch with the world of nature is the point for many of us that are drawn to paddling. It just seems so natural when we paddle using our own body and energy to move through the water. I love getting out, and it’s a safe bet we all do. It’s good to have a place like pnet to share our knowledge, our experiences, and learn from others. I am thankful for the many folks here who have been there for me in the past.

Great shots, thanks for sharing–But try and get that gator count up a little higher next time, huh? :wink:

Last time I was on that side of the swamp it was on fire and the trails were closed.

nice pictures. Yikes gators!

Only paddled there once when the Land of Quaking Earth wasn’t. There were fires in and around the park because it was so dry. It was very​ cool so the couple of gators we saw did not want to leave their logs. Got some great close-ups.