History & Ecology: Okefenokee Swamp, Amelia & Cumberland Islands

Alongside naturalists, discover the idyllic landscapes and unique wildlife of the Barrier Islands and Okefenokee Swamp. Plus, visit historic towns and learn about Civil War history.
Rating (4.8)
Program No. 11603RJ
6 days
Starts at
Special Offer
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5B 4L 4D
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At a Glance

Deep in the tangled swamplands of Okefenokee, prehistoric alligators wade through black water lakes in the shade of the cypress trees. Along the backwaters and beaches of Amelia and Cumberland Islands, terns and plovers nest, and storks and egrets dry their feathers in the Georgia sun. Encounter the vivid natural and human history on two beautiful barrier islands and the amazing Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge as you spot rare birds, dolphins, manatees and other wildlife in the marshes, forests, beaches and rivers with a local expert. Take a field trip to Cumberland Island to learn the history of the natives, missionaries, plantation owners, enslaved people and wealthy industrialists who lived there. And journey by trolley through historic Amelia Island to observe the uniquely gracious homes of another century.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Frequent getting on/off boats, trolleys, vans and buses. Walking up to 1.5-2 miles on two days. Standing and stairs, uneven walkways. The Cumberland Island visit will be a 4 mile hike or opt for a 2 mile hike on the island. No transportation on Cumberland.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Spend a full day exploring the wildlife, landmarks and landscapes of Cumberland Island National Seashore with a local expert.
  • Venture deep into the mysterious Okefenokee Swamp on a two-hour boat ride and 1.5-mile boardwalk exploration to learn about black water lakes, pond cypress and the American alligator.
  • Meet a soldier in period costume to learn the fascinating history of Fort Clinch, an important 1800s fortress for both Confederate and Union forces.
Featured Expert
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Kevin McCarthy
Kevin grew up in Gloucester, Mass. and settled in Fernandina Beach in 1968. He spent 41 years sailing the waters of northeast Fla. and southeast Georgia. He holds a 100 ton master’s license and developed his knowledge of the wildlife and history exploring the waters that surround Amelia Island, Cumberland Island and St. Mary's, Ga. Generations of Kevin’s family have been shrimpers, and he shares with participants his knowledge of shrimp farming and the future of the shrimp industry in the U.S.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Patrick Leary
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Kevin McCarthy
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Ron Kurtz
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Suggested Reading List
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