Trip Planner USA  /  Virginia  /  Suffolk  /  Wildlife Areas  /  Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Suffolk

Categories: Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
3.8/5 based on 70+ reviews on the web
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.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • 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...  read more »
  • We anted to drive through. We couldn't even get out of the car to get the leaflet you're supposed to get! Enormous insects were actually attacking the car. We were lucky enough to see a turtle in the ...  read more »
  • You can go experience the Great Dismal Swamp by car or boat (from Kayak to larger trawler). It is an awesome experience - absolutely gorgeous. Be sure to stop at the Visitor's Center for lots of great...  read more »
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • During spring and fall bird migration this is the place to go. There are a variety of species that pass through here and the orientation of the trails to the sun make this a choice spot for photography. If you enjoy birding this is a reliable spot to see Swainson's Warblers, Hooded Warblers, Prairie Warblers, Prothonotary, Ovenbird, Waterthrush, Woodthrush, Flycatchers, Summer Tanagers. Bear, Bobcat, Fox, Turkey and Whitetails can be seen on the trails and there are various historic locations in the park.
  • I hiked the Washington Ditch Trail as a youth over 50 years ago. I hope to go back this year and operate my ham radio set along the way and from Lake Drummond to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the parks. I am glad this area is protected. I hope there are not too many bears and insects...Look for W4LG from the Great Dismal Swamp and Lake Drummond this year - on-tbe-air!
  • 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.
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 3​h
Visit for 3​h
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 3​h
Visit for 1​h 30​m