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Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey

(40 reviews on the web)
Wildlife Area
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
  • We love walks and birds so this was a perfect 2 hour excursion. The walks are very well maintained and above ground so no water and very few people even on a Sunday. What a treasure on our way back to...  more »
  • This place was so serene and beautiful! Didn't see that much wildlife but the walks were lovely. I would recommend a TON of DEET there was an insane amount of mosquitoes-but we will be back!  more »
  • This is a lovely place, beautiful in every season, except perhaps summer, when the mosquitoes are out in force. Always see something different, like snapping turtles, snakes, and otters. Peaceful and ...  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • Large swamp with walking trails scenic spots. Very good for bird watchers, bikers walkers joggers. With instruction and visitor center rest rooms Photos of orange trail which 1.6 miles one way.
  • It is a great joy to walk through an isolated swamp of wild life surrounded by hostile urban forces. Several trails and elevated paths are well maintained.
  • I drive through The Great Swamp every day on my way to work. It's a lovely, scenic ride - just watch for wildlife! They don't understand traffic!