Friday, February 27, 2009

Laura S. Walker State Park - Waycross, GA

Laura S. Walker State Park - Main Entrance

Bluebird in Spring

Laura S. Walker State Park is located in southeast Georgia a few miles away from Waycross and across the highway from the northern entrance to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The state park is a 626 acre forest area containing a 121 acre lake, an eighteen hole championship golf course, and a delightful 44 site campground. Having given up golf for bluegrass music, we didn’t properly investigate the golf course, but we drove past it several times. It appears to be in very good condition and popular without being crowded at this time of year. The park is also home to the Lions Camp for the Blind.

Our Set-Up for Two Weeks

During our two week stay here, we’ve found Laura S. Walker to be nearly filled on weekend and quiet during the week. The two loops have convenient bath houses which are kept spotless and each also has a washing machine or two. Large long-leaf pines provide plenty of shade and enough open sky for the dish to find the satellite. Sites are large enough to allow for sufficient privacy, but there is not ground cover between sites. The park has paved internal roads and hardened gravel sites.

Campground from across Lake

The lake is very pretty and a number of sites front on the lake, although they are also the most popular. There is no swimming in the lake, as it is inhabited by alligators. The park has a number of nature walks, and we spent an hour or so walking one through a woodland environment with some water running through it. We enjoyed the walk, and several others are provided.

The nearest town is Waycross, GA, about eight miles away. Waycross has seen better days, but offers sufficient shopping to help make a stay at Laura S. Walker comfortable. While we were there in late February, it was chillier than usual. In a normal winter, February is early spring here. The red bud trees are in bloom and the red swamp maples are budding out. The State Park is located about 35 miles north of the main entrance to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, which is worth a couple of days of exploration. The northern entrance to the Okefenokee is across the street from Laura S. Walker, but is primarily the home of a commercial boat ride into the swamp. Nevertheless, this might also be worth a visit.

We enjoyed our two weeks at Laura S. Walker. People who combine playing golf with a love of nature would find it nearly an ideal destination, particularly during the fall and spring shoulder seasons.