Trip Planner: USA / Virginia / Suffolk / Wildlife Areas / Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is located in Suffolk. Make Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge a part of your Suffolk vacation plans using our Suffolk vacation trip planner.
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We visited the Dismal Swamp on both the VA and NC sides. Visiting the VA side, we drove out to Lake Drummond. It was truly dismal. There are several other entrances, I wish we'd tried another area to ... more »
Visited the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge on election day 2016 (somehow seemed appropriate), a beautiful fall day. It is a bit out of the way and being a wildlife refuge, mostly undevelo... more »
The Great Dismal Swamp is clumsily divided between a National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia and a State Park in North Carolina. As too often, both sides ignores each others existence so trails and facil... more »
Beautiful park with 8+ miles of paved trails along the canal. It is well maintained and perfect for an afternoon walk or bike ride. Very dog friendly.
I'm assuming this isn't the place to go in the summer a day after a hard rain. I know this is swamp lands, but I went with my wife a day after a hard rain and the bugs were horrendous. We stopped to get a parking permit at the station and I was being pelted nonstop by insects. Got back in my car and it sounded like it was raining, just so many insects hitting the car. Also acquired about 5-7 flying insects in the vehicle in a matter of jumping out and slamming the door (It was extreme). Ended up leaving because we couldn't get outside of the vehicle without eating bugs, or them flying into our eyes. And I enjoy the outdoors and typically don't mind the bugs. Gave them 3 stars because the trails looked nice and there's nothing the park can/should do about the bugs. Just avoid warm days after a rain! Insect repellent wouldn't have stopped these massive flies; mosquitoes yes.
A really neat place I hiked the whole 6 miles to Lake Drummond. It's pretty quiet out there and the view is beautiful. Make sure you bring plenty of bug spray to keep away the mosquitoes
Off roads the terrain is flat and thickly covered with vegetation ranging from large trees to high grassy plants to green briars. It is very difficult to maneuver through and impossible to go in a straight line. Be prepared to be wading through water and detouring around both deeper water and dead falls. Wildlife abounds from birds, waterfowl, deer , black bear and reptiles (turtles & snakes). If u are the adverturous kind do not forget proper wearing apparel, light weight but tough enough to protect your skin from thorny vines, water-proof, or rubber boots, insect repellant, a hat and most importantly a COMPASS, which you should know how to use. A smart phone's GPS won't always be useful due to no service areas. Be prepared by having all necessary hiking and first-aid matetial with you in case you get lost (don't laugh, it's happened) or have an accident. A whistle may be helpful for searchers trying to pin-point where u are; just in case.
Beautiful Lake. I did the car tour and there was not much wildlife, only saw a couple of black snakes and some birds. I don't think I would do the trails just because there were A LOT of huge flies. As we drove in, our car was bombarded by them.
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