The McEwen family is camping in the swamp—the Okefenokee Swamp to be exact. The 438-thousand acre swamp on the Georgia/Florida line is a unique place to explore with kids.
Inside the Stephen C. Foster State Park, there are guided boat tours of the swamp. For $15 a person, you can go out and explore the ecosystem in this vast wetland. Here’s a look at the tour the McEwens took.
The boat heads out on the Suwannee River through a shallow canal that takes us out to slightly deeper waters. Most of the Okenokee swamp is fairly shallow, ranging from two to ten feet deep.
Our tour guide is full of great tidbits about the area. We learned how natives discovered the area and how it has been used since.
The 90-minute boat ride has a few stops to look out into the vast vegetation and to check out wildlife, like alligators. As you might suspect, the swamp is a breeding ground for these reptiles that can glide through water with ease.
Cypress trees are prevalent in these low-lying spots; their unique root system helps them thrive in such murky water.
Speaking of which, we notice the water is very dark and ask our guide about it. We learn that as vegetation in the swamp dies, it breaks down in the water, which gives it its rust color.
Part of the tour includes “poking the peat” with an oar. The swamp is full of floating islands of peat moss. No matter how hard you push, these masses of moss pop right back up. The Native Americans actually referred to this area as “Trembling Earth” because of the unstable swamp ground created by peat.
This quick, affordable boat tour is the main attraction at Stephen C. Foster State Park and a must-do if you’re in the area. Be sure to bring your camera and encourage your family to take pictures.