Folkston

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Charlton County Courthouse

Folkston is a city in South Georgia. Folkston is the Gateway to the Okefenokee Swamp and the place of The Folkston Funnel (a train watchers paradise). There are so many things you and your family can do in Folkston. If you wanted to explore the best of nature, from Alligators to Woodpeckers or Bladderworts to Water Lilies then Folkston is where you want to go! If you thrill at the sensation of watching big trains (lots of trains)then Folkston is where you want to go! If you just need a quiet place to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of the fast paced world, then.....Folkston is where you NEED to go! I hope to see you or your family walking down our scenic streets sometime soon!

Get in[edit]

By Car[edit]

Folkston can easily be reached by car. Major highways entering the city include US-40,US-1/301,and FL-A1A.

By Plane[edit]

Jacksonville International Airport (IATA: JAX), 2400 Yankee Clipper Drive, [1]. Has regular flights to many US cities with major carriers such as Delta, US Air, Continental, American, Air Tran and Southwest.

By Bus[edit]

  • Greyhound Bus Lines10 North Pearl Street +1 904-356-9976. Greyhound is centrally located downtown. Station is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays.


By Train[edit]

  • Amtrak, 3570 Clifford Lane, 1-800-872-7245, [2]. Service by the Silver Service/Palmetto lines.

Get around[edit]

Getting around Folkston can be done on foot, bikes or car.

See[edit]

  • Train Watching Folkston has always been known as the gateway to the Okefenokee Swamp. But these days, more and more people are visiting Folkston to watch trains go by. Folkston is a train watching paradise with as many as 8 trains passing through on their way to or from Florida each day. Some rail watchers live right in Folkston, some visit from other countries and so many people watch trains there that the town built a special platform and installed floodlights for night viewing, making it possible to rail watch in all kinds of weather, day or night. If Train Watching is what you are into then this place is a must see on your agenda. The Folkston Railfan Platform is located in Folkston, Georgia, and provides a location where railfans can safely view and photograph trains. With the help of a $30,000 state grant, the city built the train-watching platform in 2001. Since that time, the city has attracted thousands of railfans from across the nation who come to Folkston to see the dozens of CSX and three Amtrak trains headed toward Jacksonville, Florida. The platform is equipped with ceiling fans and a radio scanner that allows railfans to hear railroad-related radio traffic. Wireless internet access was recently made available. The double-track mainline that passes through town sees dozens of trains each day. Most CSX freight traffic into Florida passes through Folkston.
  • Bird Watching Folkston, being the gateway to the Okefenokee Swamp is a prime place to plan your bird watching excursions. You can eplore on your own or for woodland birding tours may wish to contact Sheila Willis of Okefenokee Adventures[3]. Sheila is president of the Okefenokee Birding Club, has a B.S. in Biology and is a Native American naturalist with 25 years of experience in the field. An all day tour with Sheila is $100 for two people; $25 extra for each additional person. Please note that these rates do not include lunch or fees (such as park entrance fees). Sheila can be contacted at 912-285-0419 or through Okefenokee Adventures at 912-496-7156.
  • Nature-Based Recreation If you are coming to Folkston for nature-based recreation you won't be disappointed. Canoeing and kayaking the Okefenokee Swamp and the nearby St. Marys River are popular activities. Okefenokee Adventures at the Suwanee Canal Recreation Area, located next to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center, offers convenient canoe, kayak, motor boat and bike rental for refuge tourists. They can be contacted at 912-496-7156 or 866-THE-SWAMP [4]. You will find information on private tour operators and other recreational businesses listed at Georgianature.Org [5]. Information on refuge canoeing and overnight camping in the swamp is available by calling the refuge office at 912-496-3331.

Do[edit]

January

  • Second Saturday : Nocturnal Nature at the Okefenokee: Staff and volunteers listen and look for bats, frogs, raccoons, and owls, as well as other creatures of the night, on a 1.5 mile stroll down Swamp Boardwalk. Pre-registrater for this activity at the Okefenokee NWR Visitor Center, at 912-496-7836 or visit their website[6].
  • 25th. Annual Chamber Membership Banquet

February

  • 10th: Dinner Theater - Keep Charlton Beautiful: Enjoy Dinner and a show...proceeds benefit "Keep Charlton Beautiful". Get your tickets early, seating is limited. (912) 496-2536
  • Second Saturday: Sandhill Crane Awareness Day and Wings Over the Swamp: Activities, games, demonstrations, and bird walks provide visitors information about Sandhill Cranes and other birds that rely on the refuge for survival.
  • Second Saturday : Nocturnal Nature at the Okefenokee: Staff and volunteers listen and look for bats, frogs, raccoons, and owls, as well as other creatures of the night, on a 1.5 mile stroll down Swamp Boardwalk. Pre-registrater for this activity at the Okefenokee NWR Visitor Center, at 912-496-7836 or visit their website[7].

March

  • 1st Weekend : Cherokee of Georgia Council Spring Pow Wow: St George. Lots of fun activities and demonstrations. Bring the whole family...there is something for everyone.
  • Second Saturday : Nocturnal Nature at the Okefenokee: Staff and volunteers listen and look for bats, frogs, raccoons, and owls, as well as other creatures of the night, on a 1.5 mile stroll down Swamp Boardwalk. Pre-registrater for this activity at the Okefenokee NWR Visitor Center, at 912-496-7836 or visit their website[8].
  • 17th: St Mary's River Clean-up: Come out and take part is this community wide clean-up effor. Contact the Chamber for more details. [9] (912) 496-2536

April

  • First Saturday: Annual Railwatch Day: Trains on the screen, trains on the tracks. More information on our Trains page. Download vendor application at [10] on the downloads page.
  • Second Saturday : Nocturnal Nature at the Okefenokee: Staff and volunteers listen and look for bats, frogs, raccoons, and owls, as well as other creatures of the night, on a 1.5 mile stroll down Swamp Boardwalk. Pre-registrater for this activity at the Okefenokee NWR Visitor Center, at 912-496-7836 or visit their website[11].
  • Third Saturday: National Wildlife Week: Join Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge staff and volunteers to clean up the environment and learn how Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge protects, conserves and enhances habitat for fish and wildlife. For more information, contact the Okefenokee NWR Visitor Center, at 912-496-7836 or visit their website. [12].

May

  • Second Saturday: International Migratory Bird Day: Join the nation in celebrating and learning about migratory birds at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Activities include early morning bird walk, handouts, exhibits, and night time Owl Prowl. For more information, contact the Okefenokee NWR Visitor Center, at 912-496-7836 or visit their website. [13].
  • Second Saturday : Nocturnal Nature at the Okefenokee: Staff and volunteers listen and look for bats, frogs, raccoons, and owls, as well as other creatures of the night, on a 1.5 mile stroll down Swamp Boardwalk. Pre-registrater for this activity at the Okefenokee NWR Visitor Center, at 912-496-7836 or visit their website[14].| Top |

June

  • First Weekend: Free Fishing Weekend & Youth Fising Tournament: Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Show off your fishing skills! Have fun in a Fishing Derby for children age 3 – 15 and a CastingKids contest. Attend a knot tying demonstration and discover which knots are best for different test lines. Find out how folks "grunt worms" for bait. Bring a plain t-shirt and get free fish art to wear home. Take home free fishing information and fun gifts. Free refreshments will be available. For more information, contact the Okefenokee NWR Visitor Center, at 912-496-7836 or visit their website[15].

September

  • 27th: Miss Okefenokee Festival Pageant Charlton County High School. Contact the Chamber for more information on participating or sponsoring a contestant. [16] (912) 496-2536

Applications and rules on the Downloads page.

  • 29th: National Public Lands Day/Paddle for Wilderness Celebration at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Activities include a cleanup at the Chesser Island Homestead, a paddle through wilderness to Cedar Hammock Shelter and back, demonstrations and an exhibit about Leave No Trace, and a spaghetti supper. Sign up by September 13th. For more information, contact the Okefenokee NWR Visitor Center at 912-496-7836. or visit their website[17].

October

  • Second Week. National Wildlife Refuge System Week. Visit their website.
  • Second Saturday (11th): Okefenokee Festival: Jesse Crews Sr. Memorial Park and Main Street Festival Parade, street vendors and games, food and fun, night-time street dance. [18] Applications and rules on the Downloads page.
  • Second Saturday: Chesser Island Homestead Open House: Visit the Chesser Island Homestead to discover how people once lived in Southeast Georgia at the time the refuge system was established. Learn how settlers made soap, brooms, butter, quilts, baskets, and other everyday items. Examine how settlers washed clothes, smoked meat, made pickets, and survived in and around the swamp. Sample boiled peanuts, soup, biscuits, and other items cooked on a wood-burning stove. Listen to the sounds of bluegrass music, stories, and four-note singing. Encounter horses, mules, and other livestock. Enjoy the games your grandparents played - musical chairs, wheelbarrow races and more! For more information, contact the Okefenokee NWR Visitor Center at 912-496-7836. [19].
  • 31st: Trick or Treat on Main Street: Join the fun downtown as the merchants hand out treats to the kids.

November

  • First Saturday: City of Homeland Founder's Day
  • Third Saturday: Cane Grinding Demonstration at Okefenokee NWR: Discover how to make delicious sugar cane syrup, from start to finish. Cut and grind stalks fresh from the garden. Sample fresh-squeezed cane juice. For more information, contact the Okefenokee NWR Visitor Center, at 912-496-7836 or visit their website. [20].
  • 25th: Hometown Christmas at the Depot.

December

  • Second Saturday: Christmas on Chesser Island: Celebrate the holiday season at the Chesser Island Homestead with a hayride, luminaries, refreshments, caroling, and live music! Discover the region’s traditions as you tour a “swamper” home decorated with traditional homemade decorations and enjoy a bonfire. For more information, contact the Okefenokee NWR Visitor Center at 912-496-7836. [21].

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

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Sleep[edit]

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • Amelia Island - A beautiful island about 45 min north/east of Folkston up US-40 to US-17 then along FL-A1A, it is home to upscale houses, and the Amelia Island Plantation. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Amelia Island was used as a pirate base for raids on Spanish shipping. Known as the Isle of Eight Flags, it is the only location in the United States to have been under the allegiance of eight different nations.
  • St. Augustine - Founded by Spanish colonists in 1565, St. Augustine lays claim to being the oldest permanent settlement in the United States. It is about a 90 minute drive south of Folkston byUS-1/301,I-295 then I-95. It boasts many fine restaurants and tourist attractions, as well as a unique blend of old world architectural styles inherited from its Spanish and British masters. The fort, the old city, the Flagler Museum, St. George's Street, the St. Augustine Lighthouse, and the Bridge of Lions are all recommended.
  • Saint Simons Island - Located 45 miles North/East of Folkston travaling on US-252 and US-17; 10 miles E of Brunswick.
  • Jekyll Island - Located 45 miles North/East of Folkston travaling on US-252 and US-17; 10 miles E of Brunswick.
  • Jacksonville - 35 miles South of Folkston down US-1/301. There are Art Museums, beaches, shopping, theaters, Pro Football and much, much more.
  • Savannah - Just 100 miles North on I-95.
Routes through Folkston
Augusta/MaconWaycross  N US 1.svgnoframe S  CallahanJacksonville


Acknowledgments[edit]

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service brochures were used for some information provided in this Wiki on the Okefenokee and wildlife.
  • The Okefenokee Chamber of Commerce and Folkston/Charlton County Development Authority Website [22]was used for activities list and dates.
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