Trip Planner:   USA  /  New Jersey  /  Wildlife Areas  /  Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey
(4.8/5 based on 30+ reviews on the web)
The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is located in Morris County, New Jersey. Established in 1960, it is one of more than 550 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System.The refuge was declared a National Natural Landmark in May 1966. The eastern half of the refuge was designated as wilderness by Congress in 1968, making it the first wilderness area within the Department of the Interior.AdministrationThe refuge is managed by the federal United States Fish and Wildlife Service, an agency within the United States Department of the Interior. Refuge lands lie within the townships of Chatham, Harding, and Long Hill.HistoryGeologicThe Great Swamp is the remnant of a lake bottom of a once-mighty glacial lake called Glacial Lake Passaic that about 15,000 to 11,000 years ago extended for 30 miles (48 km) in length and was 10 miles (16 km) wide, in what is presently northern New Jersey. The lake was formed by the melting waters of the retreating Wisconsin Glacier at the end of the last Ice Age. The glacier had pushed a moraine ahead of its advance, a rubble of soil and rocks that plugged the existing outlet for the waters that drained into the area normally. As the retreating glacier melted, the waters rose to create the lake before a new outlet began to allow the water to exit at a much higher elevation, hence, the lake became established.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I have passed the signs for the Great Swamp NWR a zillion times - always meaning to go. Finally, on a beautiful autumn afternoon we went. Easy to find off Route 287, the visitor center was informative...  more »
  • When we travel long distances, we like to picnic. In New Jersey we have found this to be a problem for travelers just passing through. What a lovely, quiet spot for a picnic lunch. There are clean pic...  more »
  • A glorious day before Hermine came up the seaboard. We spent four hours visiting three different locations in the Refuge. We managed to see/hear several species of birds as well as different types of ...  more »
Google
  • Great place to take nature walks with the family. Elevated wooden paths allow for walking through the swamp without worrying about getting muddy or needing special gear.
  • Nice trails. There were lots of birds and turtles.
  • Huge open space that's not really accessible. There is one main road, but no walkways. If you live more than 40 min away, not worth the drive
  • Beautiful place! I drive here everyday and I love it . Awesome!
  • This is a wonderful and huuuge place to visit, so come prepared for long and wonderful walks. The visit to the main office is a must. The volunteers and happy people that are always helpful and nice.