A slimy, stinking, pestilent morass of foul water and quicksand. Hollywood's Okeefenokee. Not the real one.
The real thing is the sluggish upper part of the Suwanee River (yes, that Suwanee River). It's clean, clear, flowing, generally shallow, and beneath a foot or so of decaying vegetation, has a hard sandy bottom. You can certainly get lost here, but not in quicksand. As the map above shows, it owes its existence to a low ridge on the east. On the map above, contours are at 20-meter intervals with near sea level in the southeast and over 60 meters in the northwest. It's flat, but with enough relief to result in interesting drainages. The ridge is the Wicomico Shoreline Complex of Pleistocene age and is a former barrier island.
It is true that until well into the 20th century, malaria and yellow fever plagued swampy areas of the U.S. In 1878, a yellow fever epidemic killed 5,000 people in Memphis. Once these diseases were shown to be transmitted by mosquitoes, mosquito abatement programs eradicated malaria and yellow fever from the U.S. and most of the Americas.
|Southern pine forest scenery east of the swamp.|
|Okeefenokee Swamp Park is a nicely run private park at the north end of the swamp.|
Among other things, the park preserves the studio of cartoonist Walt Kelly,
creator of Pogo.|
Readers old enough to remember Pogo, all together
|I bet there are Nobel-Prize winning authors who wish they could be remembered for a line like this one.|
|The visitor center.|
|Boat excursions venture a few miles into the swamp.|
|An old still|
|Remnants of an Indian dugout canoe|
|Left and below: cypress roots and knees.|
|Large snake along the boardwalk|
Boardwalk into the swamp.|
Below: an excursion train travels a short loop around the edge of the swamp, visiting remnants of a logging camp.
Yet more evidence of the decline of Western civilization - people have to be
told alligators are dangerous.|
Because if you don't tell them, they will do something stupid...
Created 7 April 2003, Last Update 01 July 2012
Not an official UW Green Bay site