Okefenokee Swamp | Blackwater, National Geographic Magazine: Billy’s Lake In The Okefenokee

Small boat in reflective waters in orange fog at sunrise.

Fishermen break the still waters of Billy’s Lake on a foggy morning in the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge. Located on the west side of the swamp, the lake was named for a Seminole Indian chief who lived there. Billy’s Lake is the largest of the 60 lakes in the Okefenokee.

A mysterious aura surrounds the Okefenokee, a boggy, unstable wilderness in southern Georgia commonly known as “Land of the Trembling Earth.” More accurately translated, “Okefenokee” means “waters shaking” in Hitchiti, an extinct dialect in the Muskogean language family spoken in the Southeast by indigenous people related to Creeks and Seminoles.

Established in 1937, the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge protects the waters, wilderness, and wildlife of the 400,000-acre Okefenokee Swamp.