Grand Bay - Valdosta, Georgia
Updated: Apr 27, 2020
The Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area (WMA) encompasses 2,623 acres of state-owned property and 5,874 acres of land under license from the U.S. Air Force. There are two main access points: the check station/education center entrance on Knight’s Academy Road and the federal land entrance off U.S. Highway 221. The area is located in Lowndes County/Valdosta, Georgia.
The park offers several great activities and amenities to include the ability to canoe and kayak, fishing in the surrounding swamps and along trails, hiking trails at approximately 6 miles total, good trails (mainly dirt roads) with newly refurbished boardwalks, and large viewing tower to see the surrounding swampland areas. The tower also allows visitors to occasionally see planes and helicopters flying from Moody Air Force Base.
Canoe & kayak enthusiasts may not enjoy this swamp as much as Okeefenokee or Reed Bingham lake as there is very limited open water. If you want to get close-up photos of swamp dwellers and plants then this is a great place. There are a dozen or more wood duck nest boxes although we’ve never seen the ducks nesting in the ones close to the tower. We have not tried kayaking into the swamp.
Sunsets from the top of the tower are rewarding. You will sometimes see herons & egrets flying to their evening roosts on hammocks in the swamp. Sandhill cranes are sometimes seen.
Wildlife to expect include deer, raccoons, wild hogs, birds, turtles, and alligators. We’ve occasionally seen swallow-tailed and Mississippi kites, black-crowned night herons, little blue herons, white ibis.
Our experience: well worth the visit and overall a clean park. There are basic (flush) restrooms at the entrance to the boardwalk. School groups often visit and have a small classroom there. Several picnic tables also available near this building.
Good for the entire family.
Park location and contact:
4641-4649 Knight Academy Road
Valdosta, GA 31605 Phone: (229) 426-5267