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    Photo Tips For Visiting Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

    The National Park Foundation presents their annual ‘Top 10’ list, a photography guide highlighting the very best Fall photo experiences in America’s national parks and public lands. Number seven on this list is Georgia's Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, which spans nearly 402,000 acres. The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is a vast bog inside an immense, saucer-shaped depression that was once part of the ocean floor.

    This is an amazing thought our family considered on our visit to the swamp that now lies 103 to 128 feet above mean sea level. Native Americans named the area "Okefenokee" meaning "Land of the Trembling Earth," referring to the peat deposits, up to 15 feet thick, cover much of the swamp floor, so unstable in some areas that trees and bushes tremble from above-ground disruptions.

    A journey down Swamp Island Drive, a 9-mile driving, biking and walking loop, will lead you through a diverse ecosystem that is home to many animals including, white-tailed deer, black bears, gophers, snakes, alligators, turtles, woodpeckers, wild turkeys, egrets and dragonflies. This makes Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge a world class setting for families to explore Georgia's wildlife, and for photography enthusiasts to capture the beauty and immensity of wildlife within the area.

    A Ford Photo Tip For Your Trip - One tip we can recommend when trying to take a great wildlife photos is to be as patient as possible. This can be a true challenge for children, yet it is well worth their effort! They'll not only see beautiful animals, but children will also learn that nature move at its own pace, and patience has its rewards.

    The “Top Ten Parks and Public Lands Photo Tips” range from capturing the rich history of Jamestowne, Virginia, to watching alligators glide through the swamps of Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Whether you’re a professional or new to photography, these tips will help you discover some of the hidden gems that often get overlooked within the nation’s diverse parks and public lands system.

    In recent years the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation had teamed with sponsors like CASIO and Ford Motor Company for the official “Share the Experience” photo contest. Amateur photographers are encouraged to enter their favorite photos taken in America’s national parks and public lands. Winners are eligible for a variety of prizes and vacations to federal recreation areas. The “Share the Experience” photo contest benefits America’s Federal Recreational Lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. We hope these tips are helpful, and inspire you to get out and explore some of America’s hidden gems hidden within the nation's public parks and recreation lands.

    By James and AJ Grass

    Getting There:

    To find more about the Share The Experience Photo Contest visit

    To plan a visit to one of our national parks visit

    Photo Credits: MS