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Not only is Folkston home to the great and wondrous Okefenokee Swamp, but it is also a short driving distance from the rivers and coastal areas which offer outstanding recreation in its most natural form. Visitors come from all over the world to visit this area and explore its natural beauty. We hope that you will use the Inn as home base for exploring and enjoying this gorgeous part of the South. As members of Georgia's Nature-Based Tourism Association, we can help you contact other businesses with good environmental and conservation practices. www.georgianature.org
If you are coming to the Folkston area for nature-based recreation and staying at the Inn, let us help you plan your trip. Canoeing and kayaking the Okefenokee Swamp and the nearby St. Marys River are popular activities. Okefenokee Adventures at the Suwanee Canal Recreation Area, located next to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center, offers convenient canoe, kayak, motor boat and bike rental for refuge tourists. They can be contacted at 912-496-7156 or 866-THE-SWAMP or www.okefenokeeadventures.com. You will find information on private tour operators and other recreational businesses listed at www.georgianature.org. Information on refuge canoeing and overnight camping in the swamp is available by calling the refuge office at 912-496-3331.
If you want a special tour during your stay at the Inn, you can call and make your own arrangements with tour operators, or call us and we will help you arrange a customized tour. Whether you want a guided fishing trip, an all-day guided boat tour, an all-day woodlands birding tour or want to combine camping overnight in the swamp with a stay at the Inn, we help put you in touch with appropriate operators.
For Canoers, Kayakers and Bikers
Private tours of the Okefenokee Swamp are available through Okefenokee Adventures, the official participating partner with the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, at 912-496-7156 or 866-THE-SWAMP or www.okefenokeeadventures.com. Okefenokee Adventures rents canoes, kayaks and bikes for your touring needs. For coastal marsh canoeing or kayaking contact Kayak Amelia. They are located just south of Amelia Island, a one hour trip from the inn. For more information on biking the Okefenokee, visit GORP (Great Outdoors Recreation Pages).
Georgia's Department of Natural Resources has a brochure entitled Colonial Coast Birding Trail. Contact them at 912-994-1438 to obtain a copy, or see their web site.
Woodland birding tours are available with Sheila Willis of Okefenokee Adventures. Sheila is president of the Okefenokee Birding Club, has a B.S. in Biology and is a Native American naturalist with 25 years of experience in the field. An all day tour with Sheila is $100 for two people; $25 extra for each additional person. Please note that these rates do not include lunch or fees (such as park entrance fees). Sheila can be contacted at 912-285-0419 or through Okefenokee Adventures at 912-496-7156.
Birdwatching and nature study on Jekyll Island (one hour from Folkston) is available through Lydia Thompson of St. Simons Island. Lydia has weekly early morning group trips (7:30-11:30 am) every Friday ($20 per person). She will also do individual birding trips, all-day, half-day, or a few hours. Call Lydia at 912-634-1322, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or ask us to arrange a trip when you make your reservation at the inn. Lydia has a long list of birding achievements, including having seen and identified over 700 bird species. Lydia is also an artist/printmaker.
Wild Birds Unlimited's shop on St. Simon's Island (one hour from Folkston) has everything for your birding needs, including top of the line binoculars and scopes. They also sponsor small group birding adventures to places like Costa Rica and Ecuador. Contact Harlan Smith at 912-638-1422 or email@example.com.
Nature-Based Recreation and Tours