Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge -

Get In

A map of the Great Swamp Refuge is available from the Fish and Wildlife Service website .

The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset.


There are no fees for visiting the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

Get around

There are trails within the refuge, which are open only to foot traffic. (Pack in and pack out, there is no camping within the boundaries of the refuge.)


There are several hiking trails, and many photo opportunities. This refuge is an excellent place for bird watching.

Stay safe

This is largely wetland, so be prepared for soggy conditions and stay on the trails where possible.

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is in Morris County, New Jersey, United States, about 26 miles west of Manhattan's Times Square.

The Great Swamp Refuge is one of more than 544 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System that is administered by the Department of Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge System is a network of lands and waters managed specifically for the protection of wildlife and its habitat. It represents the most comprehensive wildlife management program in the world.


The refuge was established by an act of Congress on November 3, 1960. It consists of 7,600 acres of varied habitats and over the years,

Flora and fauna

The refuge has 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".


There are many photo opportunities (animals, landscapes, and plants) throughout the Great Swamp Refuge. Best times to photograph 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.

There is a wildlife observation center, off of New Vernon Road. The refuge headquarters is on Pleasant Plains Road.


There is no camping allowed within the bounds of the refuge. The refuge closes at dark.

Get out

The same way you got in, just take your trash out with you and get out before dark.

There is an organization named The Raptor Trust which operates 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.


  Great Swamp - National Fish and Wildlife Service 
  Friends of the Great Swamp (an independent, non-profit organization)

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