The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is a great park for birdwatching, with over 200 species of birds resting and feeding there. It is situated in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. It is 26 mi (42 km) west of Manhattan's Times Square.
The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge consists of 7,600 acres (3,100 hectares) of varied habitats. It is run by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and supported by the Friends of the Great Swamp. The refuge was established as a refuge on November 3, 1960; and has now become a resting and feeding area for more than 244 species of birds.
Fox, deer, muskrat, turtles, fish, frogs and a wide variety of wildflowers and plants also call the refuge home.
The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset.
If you would like to contact the refuge:
- Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, 241 Pleasant Plains Road, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
Cars may be parked at any of the designated parking lots.
A map of the Great Swamp Refuge is available from the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Fees and permits
There are no fees for visiting the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.
Cars are not allowed within the park, outside of the designated roads and parking lots.
There are trails within the refuge, which are open only to foot traffic.
- There are several hiking trails.
- The Great Swamp is an excellent place for bird watching.
- There are many photo opportunities (animals, landscapes, and plants) throughout the Great Swamp Refuge. The best times to photgraph plants are usually on misty, overcast days to keep the bright, direct sunlight (and shadows) to a minimum. Landscape and wildlife photos can be taken with many different types of light in the swamp.
- Visit the Wildlife Observation Center, off New Vernon Road. The refuge headquarters is on Pleasant Plains Road.
- The Raptor Trust. Rescues injured birds and animals. They are based just outside of the Great Swamp on White Bridge Road in Millington, NJ. If you are in the area for the wildlife, stop in and see these good folks and the animals that they are saving.
This is largely wetland, so be prepared for soggy conditions and stay on the trails where possible.