Photograph by Rena Johnson
Can you name this park?

To say this state park is remote is a little like saying that rain is wet. It’s about as far from civilization as you can get, both geographically and in terms of what you’ll see. Roughly an hour-and-a-half drive from the nearest big city, the primordial locale serves as the main entrance to the Okefenokee Swamp, the largest blackwater swamp in North America. It teems with critters big and small: black bears, white-tailed deer, storks, herons, turtles, and—of course—alligators. But the abundant wildlife isn’t the only reason to visit. This park is also one of the best places in the country to stargaze, thanks to its exceptionally low levels of light pollution. In fact, the International Dark-Sky Association recognizes the park as the Southeast’s only Gold-tier International Dark Sky Park. Depending on conditions and the time of year, you can expect to see comets, the moon’s craters, the North Star, and some planets, such as Venus and Mars. Summer is the best time to observe the Milky Way. Consider booking a campsite or cottage and paddling the swamp’s glass-like waters at night, scanning for gator eyes as you glide over the reflections of countless stars. This is the world as our ancestors knew it: brilliant, lush, and more than a little wild.

If you can name this park, send an email to southbound@atlantamagazine.com or drop us a note at 260 Peachtree Street, Suite 300, Atlanta, Georgia 30303. 

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