Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Suffolk

3.8
#3 of 7 in Things to do in Suffolk
The Great Dismal Swamp is a large swamp in the Coastal Plain Region of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, between Norfolk, Virginia, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina. It is located in parts of the southern Virginia independent cities of Chesapeake and Suffolk and northern North Carolina counties of Gates, Pasquotank, and Camden. Some estimates place the size of the original swamp at over 1e6acre, stretching from Norfolk, Virginia to Edenton, North Carolina.It is a southern swamp, one of many along the Atlantic Ocean's coast, including the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp in Florida, the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia, the Congaree Swamp of South Carolina, and some of the Carolina bays in the Carolinas and Georgia.Lake Drummond, a 3100acre natural lake, is located in the heart of the swamp. The lake, a remarkably circular body of water, is one of only two natural lakes in Virginia. Along the Great Dismal Swamp's eastern edge runs the Dismal Swamp Canal, completed in 1805.
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Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
77 reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • I joined tour guide, Penny Lazauskas, from Nature's Caliing in kayaking the Dismal Swamp. She is a biologist and is an expert in this area. I had never kayaked before and she was extremely patient wit...  more »
  • We go there frequently, its refreshing to be surrounded by nature while living in a zoo like Hampton Roads. No traffic, no cell phones, no crowds and all the animals are NOT friendly. Hike to the lake...  more »
  • Great Dismal Swamp is such a beautiful place to spend kayaking and exploring nature!We were able to see lots of wildlife during our outing!  more »
Google
  • Took my boys here when they were so young. Great memories. Great place to go and see. Pack a picnic basket and enjoy all they have to offer. Kids can play on playground equipment and more! Many scenic areas to hold a photo session too!
  • Hiked the Washington Ditch trail the 5 miles to Lake Drummond. This place is very serene and the solitude is nice. It's a great little escape so close to the city. I got there early and it was just me and nature. I'm giving it 4 stars because it's essentially a straight shot on an overgrown road for 5 miles, so it isn't challenging in any way unless you have trouble walking. The lake itself is beautiful. Highly recommend!
  • A beautiful and wonderful landscape filled with thousands of untold stories of escaped slaves. Story has it that settlers were frightened of the swamp and what dangers it may have held. But it was also vast area, prior to eventually being logged, that was a way-station and home to people escaping slavery. There are miles of gorgeous walking trails there now and an auto road to Lake Drummond, a wide and shallow lake which is also the second largest lake in Virginia. Filled with wildlife and sights of all kinds, the Great Dismal Swamp is a historic gem and a must-see for nature lovers.
  • We walk there almost every weekend. There is a 3/4 board walk at the Washington ditch and a gravel road you can also walk, but the road at the Rail Road ditch is much smoother. You park and walk in and maybe 2 mile down the road there's a boardwalk through a Cypress swamp that's very pretty. We've seen deer, ducks, beaver, bears. Very peaceful. Going out again today.
  • Has a great campground near by, with a stable. Small cabins, pools and golf. Dep Creek Stables - Chesapeake Campground family owned and operated.
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