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Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

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Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

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The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge [1] 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, and is just 26 miles west of Manhattan's Times Square.


The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge consists of 7,600 acres 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.

Get In[edit]

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.


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

Get around[edit]

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.

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

  • 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 [2] 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, why not stop in and see these good folks and the animals that they are saving.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Camping is not allowed in the refuge! If you do want to camp, two local parks allow camping by permit - Mahlon Dickerson and Lewis Morris Parks [3].

Stay safe[edit]

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

Get out[edit]

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


  • Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, 241 Pleasant Plains Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. ph: +1 973 425 1222, (email: [email protected], fax: +1 973 425 7309)
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