Stephen C. Foster State Park

Stephen C. Foster State Park
Reservations 800-864-7275
Park 912-637-5274

DARK SKY AWARD: Join us December 10 for an astronomy program and celebration of our "International Dark Sky Designation."

BOATING NOTICE: Water levels are so low that we cannot give guided boat tours or rent motor boats at this time. Kayak and canoe rentals are still available.
CAMPFIRE NOTICE: Due to drought conditions and high winds, a full fire ban has been imposed. No open fires are allowed, but covered gas grills are allowed.
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» Boating Notice:
› Boating activities may be restricted during low water levels.

» Visitor Notices:
› The park is located 18 miles from Fargo and 50 miles from a major grocery store.
› Visitors should bring all supplies with them and have plenty of gasoline in their vehicle.
› Cell phone service may be unreliable.
› Late arrivals are not allowed due to NWR regulations.

This remote park is a primary entrance to the legendary Okefenokee Swamp—one of Georgia's seven natural wonders. Spanish moss-laced trees reflect off the black swamp waters, while cypress knees rise upward from the glass-like surface. Here, paddlers and photographers will enjoy breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife. Alligators, turtles, raccoons, black bears, deer, ibis, herons, wood storks, red-cockaded woodpeckers and numerous other creatures make their homes in the 402,000-acre refuge. Stargazers will appreciate the particularly dark sky

Same-day reservations are recommended for guided pontoon boat tours of the swamp. Sunset tours may be available. More adventurous visitors may wish to rent canoes, kayaks or jon boats for further exploration of the swamp, including a trip to historic Billy’s Island. Fishing in the lake is excellent, particularly for warmouth, bluegill, catfish, chain pickerel and bowfin. Boating is dependent upon water levels.  

Perhaps the most famous inhabitant of the Okefenokee Swamp is the American Alligator. Officials estimate that 12,000 of the country’s largest reptile live within the 402,000-acre refuge. To safely view these creatures, visitors should admire them from a distance and keep hands and feet inside boats. Pets are not allowed in boats, even privately owned vessels.  

Because Stephen C. Foster State Park is located within a National Wildlife Refuge, gates lock at closing and a $5 refuge fee is charged.

$5 refuge parking fee.

Park Hours:

7 a.m.–10 p.m.
Gates lock at 10 p.m. No late access.

Office Hours:

8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Accommodations & Facilities:

• 80 Acres
• 9 Cottages ($150)— #5 is dog friendly ($45/dog, max 2)
• 64 Campsites ($28–$35) — some seasonal
• Pioneer Campground ($55)
• 3 Picnic Shelters ($40–$50)
Suwannee River Eco-Lodge — located in Fargo, 18 miles from park

Things to Do & See:

Programs & Private Tours
• Kayak & Canoe Rental — 15 miles of waterways
• Park Paddlers Club
• Boat Rental — 10 HP limit
• Astronomy — International Dark-Sky Association Approved
• First Time Camper Program
• Fishing
• Walking — 2.5-mile Trembling Earth Nature Trail; guided hikes at 8:30 a.m. ($2)
• Bike Rental
• Birding
• Archery — call to reserve
• Nature Photography
• Playground
• Geocaching

Nearby Attractions:

• Fargo Golf Course
Golden Isles of Georgia
Laura S. Walker State Park
• Okefenokee Adventures
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
• Okefenokee Swamp Park
• Suwannee Canal Recreation Area
Suwannee River Eco-Lodge
The Lakes Golf Course at Laura S. Walker
Waycross, Georgia

International Dark Sky Association Seal

Make a Reservation
  • 64 Campsites - Reserve
  • 9 Cottages - Reserve
  • 3 Picnic Shelters - Reserve
  • 1 Pioneer Camp - Reserve
  • Suwanee River Eco-Lodge Facilities in Fargo, Georgia, 18 miles from Stephen C. Foster State Park - Learn More
View by date
Paddle Under the Stars
Friday, Dec 9, 2016 6:30 PM to 8 PM
Saturday, Dec 17, 2016 5 PM to 7 PM
Friday, Dec 23, 2016 5 PM to 7 PM
More Dates...
Join a ranger-guided paddle as the sun sets over the Okefenokee Swamp. Watch as the last light of day fades into the dark night, leaving only the twinkling light of stars and the moon to guide the way. Look for alligator eyes glowing from your flashlight, take in a full moon or perhaps the milky way and enjoy a relaxing paddle in the swamp.  $15-$20 plus $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Introduction to Archery
Saturday, Dec 10, 2016 2 PM to 4 PM
Learn the basics of archery and see if this hobby is right for you. We will provide all the equipment you need to be hitting the bulls-eye in no time. Must be 7 and up to participate. Must pre-pay to pre-register. Meet at the Park Office 5 minutes early. Program is outdoor and weather permitting. Bring water and bug spray.  $10 plus $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Dark Sky Celebration - Astronomy Program
Saturday, Dec 10, 2016 5 PM to 7:30 PM
Celebrate our designation as an official dark sky site by the International Dark Sky Association. We will begin with a ceremony and follow with stargazing in the Okefenokee Swamp. The moon will be in the waxing gibbous phase, allowing us to see craters in detail. We'll also look at Venus, Mars, Polaris and Vega. $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Handicapped AccessibleGet Outdoors Georgia
Swamper's Guide to the Galaxy
Friday, Dec 16, 2016 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Friday, Dec 30, 2016 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Saturday, Jan 7, 2017 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
More Dates...
Watch for meteors, planets, observe the moon or take in all the stars above as we gaze upon a truly dark sky from deep within the Okefenokee. We will use both our unaided eyes and telescopes while we stargaze. Stephen C. Foster State Park is one of the darkest places in the Southeast due to a lack of light pollution in the Okefenokee Swamp. $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Get Outdoors Georgia
First Day Hike: Sunrise on the Boardwalk
Sunday, Jan 1, 2017 7 AM to 8 AM
We will begin the first day of the new year by watching the first sunrise over the Okefenokee of 2017. As the swamp emerges from the dark of night, we will discuss the importance of fire, watch for birds and listen for creatures as we hike along the Trembling Earth Nature Trail. $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Stephen C. Foster State Park
17515 Highway 177
Fargo, GA 31631
Clinch County

GPS Coordinates:

N 30.8269500 | W -082.3621000
Located 18 miles northeast of Fargo at the end of Highway 177. Note that GPS directions are often not accurate; consult a highway map.

Park directions map

Stephen C. Foster State Park
17515 Highway 177
Fargo, GA 31631 View Details

Stephen C. Foster State Park