ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Stephen C. Foster State Park, GA
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Stephen C. Foster State Park, GA
Stephen C. Foster State Park
Covering 80 acres and offering cabins, camping,
picnicking, boat tours and more, Stephen C. Foster
State Park is a major access point to the Okefenokee.
Stephen C. Foster State Park
The western entrance to the
Okefenokee Swamp, the park
is eighteen miles from Fargo,
Stephen C. Foster State Park - Fargo, Georgia
West Entrance to the Okefenokee
Copyright 2012 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: June 12, 2012
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Okefenokee Swamp
Stephen C. Foster State Park
is located in the western edge
of the famed Okefenokee, one
of the world's largest swamps.
Moonshine Still Display
An authentic moonshine still
can be seen in the interpretive
center. Illegal liquor was big
business in the Okefenokee
during Prohibition.
Trembling Earth Nature Trail
The trail features thousands
of feet of boardwalk and is
named from the legend that
"Okefenokee" is an Indian
word meaning "Land of the
Trembling Earth."
Stephen C. Foster State Park is located 18
miles from the town of Fargo, Georgia. It is
the western gateway to the Okefenokee
National Wildlife Refuge.

Located in the edge of the Okefenokee
Swamp, the park is named for 19th century
American composer Stephen Foster. The
beautiful Suwannee River, made famous in
an 1851 song by Foster, rises near the park.

The Okefenokee is one of the five biggest
swamps in the world and the remote location
of Stephen C. Foster State Park makes it an
ideal base for exploring this beautiful, historic
and mysterious region. The park's boat tours,
walking trails and interpretive center provide
an outstanding introduction to the great

Deeply embedded in the history, folklore and
culture of the South, the Okefenokee Swamp
is a remarkable natural place. People came
here to marvel at the vastness and mystery of
the swamp long before the rise of today's
ecotourism industry.

On the tentative list to become a World
Heritage Site, the Okefenokee was once part
of the ocean floor. When the waters receded
and North America assumed its modern
form, the ocean left behind a vast saucer
shaped bog in what is now the southeast
corner of Georgia. The swamp is thousands
of years old.

Legend holds that the word "Okefenokee"
means "Land of the Trembling Earth" in the
Creek Indian language. It has also been
interpreted to mean something akin to "The
Terrible." The former is probably correct, at
least according to what the Lower Creek
chief of Chehaw told U.S. Indian Agent
Benjamin Hawkins in 1796.

The Okefenokee Swamp really is a land of
trembling earth. Peat deposits up to 15 feet
thick cover the floor of the swamp and often
towering trees grow from them. The peat
deposits are unstable in places, however,
and bushes and trees often tremble from the
footsteps of explorers.

The park's primary hiking path is named the
Trembling Earth Trail and offers boardwalks
that stretch for thousands of feet into the
swamp. Interpretive panels point out unique
plants and trees, explain the ecology of the
swamp and detail its natural and cultural

The Interpretive Center also provides a
wealth of information about the natural and
cultural history of the park and the swamp.
Displays explain the plants and animals that
live in the Okefenokee and detail the history
of the area. Artifacts to be seen there include
an original moonshine still.

Moonshining (illegal liquor making) came to
the swamp with the first white settlers. The
practice surged during the Prohibition era
(1920-1933) when the now-repealed 18th
Amendment made it illegal for anyone in
America to manufacture, distribute or sell
alcoholic beverages. The demand for liquor
remained and people living in remote areas
such as the Okefenokee Swamp cashed in
by running stills and then smuggling the
liquor out to the cities where buyers awaited.
Natural Places in Georgia
Especially popular with visitors to Stephen C.
Foster State Park are the guided boat tours it
offers into the Okefenokee Swamp.

Lasting about an hour, the tours leave the
marina next to the park Trading Post at
intervals throughout the day (subsequent to
weather and water conditions). The boats
pass through some of the most beautiful
natural scenery in the world. To check the
current tour boat schedule, please call the
park at 912-637-5274.

The remoteness of the park makes it one of
the most incredible places in the South for
stargazing. The following special events are
scheduled for this summer:


Friday, June 15, 2012        9 PM - 10 PM
Saturday, July 14, 2012     9 PM - 10 PM

Perseid Meteor Shower

Friday, August 10               8:30 PM - 10 PM
Saturday, August 11               
Sunday, August 12                  

(Call 912-637-5274 for information)

Stephen C. Foster State Park is open daily
from 7 am to 10 pm., and is located at the
end of GA 177 eighteen miles northeast of
Fargo, Georgia.

GPS:        N 30.8269500        W 082.3621000

There are no stores between Fargo and the
park and the nearest major grocery store is
50 miles away, so be sure to bring your own
food! Ice, drinks and snacks are available at
the park Trading Post from 8 am to 5 pm.

The park offers camping, cabins, boat rentals
and more. It also operates an Eco-Lodge in
Please click here for more information.