Okefenokee - which camping platform

-- Last Updated: Feb-05-10 12:38 AM EST --

Hubby & I are headed to the Okefenokee in April & we are racking our brains as to which trip to take. We've done a day trip there, but this will be our 1st kayaking overnight. Anyone have an opinion about a certain trail or camping platform that we really shouldn't miss? Thanks!

I definitely have preferences.

– Last Updated: Feb-05-10 5:36 AM EST –

I have only made 5 trips to the park but I honesty love the place. Haven't done any day trips. All of the trips were remote camping done in February. I have paddled most of the trails there but have not paddled to Monkey Lake or Cravens Hammock or Billys Lake. Someday.....

I very much enjoy the feel and sounds of Round top but can barely stand doing time on the canal and would avoid it if I can. The canal is like 10 miles of straight line and has top be the most boring paddling in the park IMO. I don't do any trips from the east side anymore. I hate it that much. Every other trail in the park is more attractive. IMO.
I love the trail between Maul Hammock and Big Water. I feel like I have entered a time machine when paddling through there. Timeless quality.
A stay at Floyds Island is pretty cool. Nice to have some dry ground to walk on. Different flora/fauna with land underfoot. A roof and walls an added luxury. The trail coming from the west is very attractive with the biggest tallest tress an arms length away. The trail to the east is equally attractive but a bit more jungley.
I really enjoy making my way through the middle part of the orange trail to the canal shelter. Very wild feel. Same thing with parts of the green trail through territory prairie. Swore I would catch up to the back of my own head in all the tight twisty turns.
Really, all of the permitted camping areas are high quality with a remote feel. You are likely to see nobody except for other permit holders you cross paths with and a few motorboats on the day use trails.
If I were doing a trip there, Trail number 11 would be my first choice. Leaves me feeling like I have experienced something special.

The uniqueness of an Okefenokee trip keeps me coming back. It is a very wonderful place. As wild as I have ever paddled east of the Mississippi. More wildlife than anywhere I have found. As undisturbed as anything I have paddled south of Canada. Clean. Full of an amazing quantity of birds. More alligators than you can shake a stick at. Plants and trees that I only get to see when I go there.

Anyways, my favorite platform would be at Bigwater, and only because of the paddle to it. Next would be round top. A 360 view to a bird watchers paradise.

can’t really add anything to the above poster’s comments except to second his maul hammock to big water as a great section of water trail. good luck with the reservations. april can be hard to get a trail. if you get one, have a great trip.

Do you have someone to help set up a
shuttle for your trip. If not you are pretty limited on where you can go. March and April are popular times to paddle in the swamp with nice weather and fewer bugs. The park service limits trips to 1 or 2 nights only then. Going from one side of the swamp to the other is a very long and costly shuttle by an outfitter otherwise putting in at Kingfisher and camping at Maul Hammock and Big Water and taking out at Stephen Foster State Park in Georgia (not the Florida one) would probablly be my first choice.

If it’s just the two of you I would suggest putting in and taking out at the East enterance and spend the nights at Round Top and Floyd’s Island. The long paddle down the canel might be interesting then as it could be mating time for the gator’s.

Going to Monkey Lake is a pretty good paddle but the camping platform is in the middle of a small island and doesn’t have much of a view.