The largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi
The Okefenokee Swamp covers 440,000 acres. That’s more than three times the total land mass of all Georgia’s barrier islands! It includes 370,000 acres of freshwater wetlands—an area larger than all of Georgia’s tidal salt marshes—and 353,981 acres of wilderness area, more than half the size of the Smoky Mountain National Park.
An Evolving Ecosystem
One million years ago, when sea levels were much higher than today, Trail Ridge was a barrier island. This geological feature allowed for freshwater to accumulate in what is now the Okefenokee Swamp. The swamp as we know it today began forming five to seven thousand years ago when the peat moss first established in the area.
An Ecological—and Economic—Driver for our Region
The Okefenokee Swamp supports more than 750 local jobs in Charlton County and Southeast Georgia. Approximately 600,000 annual visitors come from all 50 states and ~35 countries.
A Wonder of the World
In addition to its status as a National Wildlife Refuge and a Wetland of International Importance, the Okefenokee is on the “tentative list” of United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites.