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Laura S Walker State Park
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Laura S Walker State Park © Chris Smith
Laura S Walker State Park © Chris Smith
Laura S Walker State Park © Chris Smith
Laura S Walker State Park © Chris Smith
Laura S Walker State Park © Chris Smith
Laura S Walker State Park © Chris Smith
Laura S Walker State Park © Chris Smith
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5653 Laura Walker Rd.
Waycross, Georgia   31503

Phone: 912-287-4900
Reservations: 800-864-7275
Located near the northern edge of the mysterious Okefenokee Swamp, this park is home to many fascinating creatures and plants. Walking along the lake shore and nature trail, visitors may see alligators, carnivorous pitcher plants, the shy gopher tortoise, numerous oak varieties, saw palmettos, yellow shafted flickers, warblers, owls and great blue herons. The park?s lake offers opportunities for boating, skiing and fishing. A championship 18-hole golf course, The Lakes, features a clubhouse, golf pro and junior/senior citizen discounts. This is one of the few state parks named after a woman, and its name is richly deserved. Laura Walker was a Georgia writer, teacher, civic leader and naturalist who was a great lover of trees and worked for their preservation.
History of the Area
The park, named after a Georgia writer and conservationist, was established in 1941 near the Okefenokee Swamp. Before designation as a state park, the land's primary use was timber harvesting due to its dense pine forests.

During World War II, portions of the area served as training grounds for American soldiers. The site features an original turpentine still that reflects historical industry practices from when naval stores were significant local commodities.

Over time, facilities have expanded to include camping areas, golf courses (the Lakes Golf Course designed by Steve Burnes), lakes for fishing and boating (Lake Laura S Walker), trails for hiking or biking; amenities evolved with recreational needs.

Historic structures like cemeteries remain within proximity-silent witnesses to past communities' lives before widespread development reshaped their landscapes into leisure spaces.
Golf Course
The Lakes features a natural beauty rare in golf courses today. Steve Burns' golf design was able to preserve much of that beauty by using native sand for the many traps and waste areas. Greens are undulating rather than tiered. Each fairway and landing area is defined with gentle, links-style mounds that accent the courses three large lakes. So natural is the course - and so close to the Okefenokee Swamp - that it's not uncommon to see an alligator roaming the waterways. What better incentive to keep the ball in the fairway?

Full-Service Golf Shop: Features golf accessories, snack bar and group/individual lessons (with advance appointment).

Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Hours may vary according to season. Open daily except Christmas Day.

Tee Times: Reservations taken seven days a week - recommended on weekends and holidays.

Overnight Accommodations:44 campsites and local hotels

Course Layout: Holes: 18 Holes Yards: 6595 Rating: 71.9 Slope: 122 Par: 72
1. RV Camping: Offers 44 campsites with water and electrical hookups.
2. Tent Camping: Primitive sites available for traditional camping experiences.
3. Group Camps: Facilities designed to accommodate larger groups or gatherings.
4. Cottages/Cabins: Fully equipped rental cottages that can house multiple guests comfortably.
1. Laura S Walker State Park offers a large public swimming pool for visitors to enjoy.
2. The park's lake is also available for those who prefer natural water bodies, but no lifeguard is on duty.
3. Swimming hours are from 10 AM to 6 PM during the summer season only.
4. Pool passes can be purchased at $5 per person or an annual pass of $40-$90 depending upon age group and residency status.
5. Children under three years old swim free while children between ages 3-17 pay reduced fees compared with adults' rates.
6. Swimming lessons are offered in partnership with American Red Cross every year during the summer months.
7. The state park does not allow pets within its designated swimming areas due to safety concerns.

The park offers a variety of boating options for visitors. There is a boat ramp available providing access to the lake, where motorized boats are allowed but must adhere to idle speed only. Non-motorized watercraft such as canoes and kayaks can also be used on the lake. For those who do not own their own equipment, kayak rentals are offered at affordable rates within the park itself.
Enjoy fishing in the park's 120-acre lake, home to largemouth bass, catfish and bream. Boat ramps are available for use.

The Big Satilla Creek offers opportunities for catching redbreast sunfish or bowfin amidst serene natural surroundings.

Fishing gear can be rented on-site if needed. A valid Georgia Fishing License is required before you cast your line.

Laura S Walker State Park is located near Blackshear, Folkston and Waycross

1. Laura S Walker State Park offers numerous picnic tables and grills for a fun family outing.
2. There are covered pavilions available to rent for larger gatherings or events.
3. Enjoy picnicking by the lake, offering scenic views of wildlife and nature.
4. Picnic areas provide easy access to hiking trails, playgrounds, golf course, swimming pool and fishing docks in the park.
5. The park also has camping facilities nearby if you wish to extend your stay after picnicking.

Cycling enthusiasts can explore the 3.2-mile Big Creek Nature Trail, but be aware it's shared with hikers.

The trail is moderately challenging due to its sandy terrain and occasional roots across the path.

Ensure you have a good grip on your handlebars as there are some tight turns along this route.

Be cautious of wildlife while biking; deer, turkeys or even alligators may cross paths unexpectedly in certain areas.

Remember that helmets are required for cyclists under age 16 according to Georgia law - safety first!

Night cycling isn't recommended since lighting within park trails is limited after sunset.

Always stay hydrated during rides especially in hot weather conditions common here during summer months.
1. Lake Trail: Circles Laura S Walker Lake, offering scenic views of the water and wildlife; length is approximately 2.7 miles.

2. Big Creek Nature Trail: A shorter trail that meanders through diverse habitats including wetlands and pine forests; roughly 0.75 miles long.

3. Deer Run Trail: This path takes hikers into areas frequented by local deer populations, providing opportunities for wildlife observation; spans about a mile in distance.

4. Pine Savannah Loop: Showcases the unique ecosystem of Georgia's coastal plains with its open canopy and ground cover of grasses and wildflowers; around 1-mile loop.

5. Heritage Farm Loop: An interpretive trail passing historical farm structures within the park, illustrating rural life from past centuries ; estimated at just under one mile.

6. Turpentine Still Path: Highlights an old turpentine still used during naval stores operations, reflecting on regional history ; less than half a mile in total length.
The park offers birding opportunities with its diverse habitats attracting a variety of species. It is part of the Colonial Coast Birding Trail, offering guided tours and checklists for enthusiasts. The Sandhill Crane and Bald Eagles are among the notable birds spotted here frequently.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
April 8
park review stars; one to five we checked in on mar.30th. the flies were so bad you could not sit outside or cook, and they were also inside our camper. we were to stay until april 5th, but could not stand the flies. they did not offer to refund out money for the remainder of our stay. we are very disappointed .greg & henrietta
December 26 clean and friendly
park review stars; one to five
April 24 ants!!
park review stars; one to five I stayed here April 18 for 3 nights. The park was very nice and clean but the ants were terrible. My RV and my daughters camper were full of ants before we left. The park needs to spray or something to solve this problem.
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Located 9 miles southeast of Waycross on GA Route 177. Take 1-75 to exit 62, follow US 82 east through Waycross. Or, I-95 to exit 36, follow US 82 west 47 miles.

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Georgia State Parks