FOLKSTON, Ga. -- The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is getting ready for new visitors, both human and animal.
Summer hours are now in effect at the South Georgia park. The Swamp Island Drive gate is open until 6 p.m. from now until October 31. Canoe trails are also open until 6 p.m. Visitors are expected to exit the park an hour later.
According to park officials, more than five inches of rain have fallen in the swamp area. That makes for excellent viewing of the area inhabitants such as gators, turtles, and sandhill cranes. The cranes are coming into mating season and many are working on their courtship dances.
Tours to see the wildlife can be booked at the visitor's center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact (912) 496-7836. Ranger-led programs are offered every Saturday. Overnight trips can be booked through the canoe line at (912) 496-3331. An operator can assist visitors from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday.
For other information, such as guided boat rides, kayak rentals, and sunset tours, call (912) 496-7156.