Valdosta Daily Times

February 4, 2013

Okefenokee NWR Visitor Center Now Open 7 Days a Week Until June

Brittany D. McClure
From Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

- — The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge’s midwinter-spring visitation is on the upswing, and the east

entrance’s Richard S. Bolt Visitor Center is now open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will

remain open seven days a week until the end of June, when it will return to five days a week for the

slower summer season.

Even though the calendar says “winter” – signs of spring are everywhere in the refuge. Golden club, also

known as “neverwet,” has sent its golden flower spikes above the blackwater of the wetland prairies; red

maple is budding; and songs of common yellowthroats along the Suwannee Canal are joining those of the

Carolina wren and blue-gray gnatcatcher. The red-shouldered hawks are even checking out their previous

year’s nest, about a mile down the canal from the boat ramp.

Visitors can take a guided tour boat ride into the swamp, or can rent a kayak or canoe from Okefenokee

Adventures adjacent to the visitor center. There is a seven-mile auto/bicycle road with stops along the

way for hiking or watching gators and birds, as well as exploring the Chesser Island Homestead. And

there are ranger-led programs every Saturday.

The east entrance to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is located approximately seven miles

southwest of Folkston, Georgia, off Okefenokee Pkwy South (GA121/23). The visitor center is

approximately four miles west of the entrance at the road’s end.