The Hurrah Run in Okefenokee Swamp (Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge)

A self-supported trip created by OkeExpeditions

Trip Overview

Report written by Jenny Sweat, owner and Lead Naturalist of Okefenokee & Satilla Expeditions LLC, the only locally owned and operated outfitter and tour company in Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

I took 2 guests on a private guided kayak tour on the Day Use Canoe Trail which is also known to some of us as the Hurrah Run (named for the Hurrah Bush, aka Shining Fetterbush, found frequently along this trail). This "secret" trail parallels the main Suwannee Canal but you encounter more birds here, and no motorboats. I always take my guests down this trail no when we begin at the Suwannee Canal Recrestion Area no matter our destination or planned length of trip!

This trail is in the northern area of the marshy region known as Chesser Prairie. It is 2 miles in length, beginning beyond the Suwannee Canal near the 2 hite buoys that mark no entrance into the Refuge's private boat basin around the corner from the public boat basin. The beginning of the trail is not marked, so just head to the 2 buoys (which are flopped over) and turn right into the trail that opens through the bushes.

Go slowly to watch for basking gators at first, the trail is narrow but soon widens slightly. Mats of trembling earth (peat) are on either side of you as you go along. Don't try to get out on it, you will fall through.

You may encounter Sandhill Cranes, White Ibis, Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Green Herons, King Rails, American Bitterns, Least Bitterns, Little Blue Herons, Anhingas, Double Crested Cormorants, Wood Ducks, Red Shouldered Hawks, Belted Kingfishers, and more, depending on time of year. I also frequently encounter snakes on this trail, often close to the trail (like the gators, they want nothing to do with you!).

You'll begin encountering the Okefenokee Giant Hooded Pitcher Plant along mile 2 of this trail. After a corridor of evergreen swamp shrubs, you'll pass a lovely open area and then enter the Suwannee Canal lined with pond cypress, loblolly bays, and dahoon holly trees. Turning to your left will take you to the Pink Trail, which will be another left turn, or straight down the main channel of the Suwannee Canal. Turning to your right will either take you to the Cutoff, which is a sharp bend to your left at the fork, or down the Yellow Trail to Cedar Hammock, a left turn before the fork, or straight back up the Suwannee Canal to return to where you began.

If you have any questions about this trail or paddling in the Okefenokee Swamp, please reach out to me at I guide private paddle tours there throughout the year as well if you would like a professional permitted guide to accompany you.

Trip Details

  • Trip Dates: 2/13/2024
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water

Trip Location