Okefenokee refuge shifts to longer summer hours - New York News

Okefenokee refuge shifts to longer summer hours

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FOLKSTON, Ga. (AP) - A chilly start to March isn't stopping the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge from switching to its summer schedule of longer visitor hours.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which operates the refuge at the Georgia-Florida state line, says the new seasonal schedule took effect Friday and lasts through October. That means the refuge will open to visitors 30 minutes before sunrise and close at 7:30 p.m. Inside the refuge, day-use canoe trails and the Swamp Island Drive are now staying open until 6 p.m.

Refuge officials say more than 5 inches of rainfall in the past week have improved water levels in the Okefenokee. And it's a good time of year to see alligators out basking. Sandhill cranes, hawks and turtles are also out along the Suwannee Canal.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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