There are places left in Southeast Georgia where the term “wild” is an understatement. And the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is one of them. Close to 402,000 acres of pure wilderness in scope, it’s where Pugs’ fans will find 400+ animals, stunning scenery and great hiking trails. So for all of you that are thinking a trip to the swamp might be in order, here are a few hiking dos and don’ts:
- Do wear a broad spectrum sunscreen, DEET bug spray, a Pugs bandana and a straw hat to the refuge. There are a lot of wide open, sunny and buggy places there that make wearing such gear a necessity. Use the bandana to help keep the sun off of your neck and the hat to keep the rays from burning your face.
- Don’t forget to bring a water hydration system or copious bottles of water with you on the hiking trip. Humidity and heat in the area tends to be very high during the spring, summer and early fall. So without ample water, you’ll likely dehydrate rather quickly.
- Do take the time to look in the borrow ditches for baby alligators and their mothers. They tend to enjoy sunning themselves there. Just don’t get too close to them with your camera. Otherwise, you’re apt to lose more than just a lens cap.
- Don’t pass up a chance to climb the 50-foot tall observation tower at the end of the main boardwalk off Swamp Drive. The views from the top are amazing. Common sights are 14-foot long alligators silently swimming along in search of prey and herons feeding among the patches of emergent vegetation.
- Do consider renting a cabin across from the refuge and taking a guided boat tour or two. The company, Okefenokee Pastimes, offers tours to the swamp and the nearby St. Mary’s river. Be sure to wear your polarized Pugs sunglasses during the daytime tour because the glare coming off of the water can really be intense.
- Don’t forget to download a trail map. You’ll need it, and your Pugs gear, to hike through the refuge with confidence. Trails not to miss are the ones that lead to Ridley and Chesser Islands. They’re rather serene and have some of the best views.
To learn more about our hiking apparel, affordable sunglasse, and where you can find the ideal places to visit for a bit of summer recreation, make sure to visit Pugs online!