Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey

4.7
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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Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Reviews
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TripAdvisor
  • There are easy walks within the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge without getting into wilderness areas. Outside of the Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center we walked on the Bockoven Trail which is a hal...  more »
  • We lucked out that it wasn't a hot day in early August, we really enjoyed the different areas, some of which are spread out (some a few miles from each other). Lots of flowers, variety of habitats, we...  more »
  • We spent about 2 hours walking the trail. It is quite overgrown in spots but still a worthwhile adventure. The path is flat and mostly easy to traverse. There are some tree branches to step over and s...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful hiking with many trails. Peaceful, clean, with easy access trails as well as more rugged ones ... Sometimes wading is required on wilderness trails in the spring! Lots of wildlife. If you aren't seeing any wildlife, you may be one of the (thankfully rare) noise polluting groups that'd be better suited to the mall or a boardwalk carnival ;) Been going for years and we always see wildlife.
  • Enjoyed walking the boards to the bird blinds. Pokemon Go hot spot as well! Remember, no pets!
  • Nice place for a hike. Plenty of shade in the boardwalk path. Lots of wildlife. Friendly volunteers.
  • How many wildlife refuges can you say you’ve been to? Great Swamp isn’t just a great place for a walk or hike, you may also encounter some interesting wildlife like birds beavers, or perhaps even a bald eagle. The trails here are nice and flat and there are several with boardwalks that are great for getting in a nice walk through a swamp without getting your shoes muddy. It also works well with a stroller though they get a bit narrow at some points. The parking lots aren’t huge though, so get in early on a nice day or you may have a substantial hike to start your hike.
  • First time here and saw this huge turtle. Had to be 2ft long. Beautiful place.

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