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America's Most Scenic Campgrounds

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Ron Poutney

Camping Shelters, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia

The Site: Camping in the middle of a swamp requires a bit more infrastructure than sleeping on dry ground, so this 438,000-acre refuge built platforms. Sure, they’re just above the alligator-filled water, but the gators never bother anyone—really. The partially roofed paddle-in platforms, which are more like wall-less cabins than campsites, also act as a kind of wildlife blind, giving you an up close and personal look at the 233 species of birds that live in or migrate through the refuge. Because the refuge limits reservations to just one group per site, this is also one of the most private camping options in the country.

The Basics: Six shelters plus three camping sites on dry land; all sites have composting toilets but no fresh water; no RVs; $10 per person per day plus $20 per day for a two-man canoe; reserve up to two months in advance (recommended) at (912) 496-3331.

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