Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Park Overview:

Only 26 miles from Manhattan, this is a unique place to observe migrating, nesting and feeding habitat for migratory birds amid a mixture of marshes, meadows, dry woodlands and brush-covered swamps

Trail Uses:Hiking, Handicapped
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:9 miles
Park Acreage:7768 acres
Basking Ridge/Somerset/NJ
Web Map:Great Swamp NWR -- Trail Map
Park Description:

The 7700-acre Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge has become a resting and feeding area for more than 244 species of birds. Also, fox, deer, muskrat, turtles, fish, frogs and a wide variety of wildflowers and plants call the refuge "home".  The Wildlife Observation Center provides wetland vistas and offers opportunities for wildlife observation and photography.  The refuge offers interpretive displays, an information kiosk, and two boardwalks that lead into the Great Swamp.  Picnicking is not permitted.

For related parks see the Great Swamp Cluster.

Trails Overview:

Over nine miles of trails meander through the federally administered 3,660-acre portion of the Wilderness Area in the Great Swamp. Boardwalks of 1.5 miles are handicapped-accessible.  The trails are primitive and, befitting a swamp, frequently muddy.

Use the link above for a trail map.

  • Pets must be on a leash not exceeding 10 feet and are permitted only along Pleasant Plains Road and in parking areas.

The refuge is located near Exit 30A of I-287.  For written directions: Friends of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, follow "Directions" link. Also, click on Location Tab.  GPS: 40.705774,-74.502347.  [Google Maps:"152 Pleasant Plains Road, Basking Ridge, NJ, 07920"]

Contact Information:Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Region:Morris County

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

"Muddy" is understatement

Save your time and give this one a giant miss. We did this on Sunday 6/22/14. Did Blue/Red/Ivory back to Blue about 5.5 miles of slushy gooey slimey mud surrounded by about a billion mosqiuitoes and gnats. No views, muddy paths and bugs add up to a lousy hike. Yes it's a swamp so I should have known but there are no redeeming features about this to warrant slopping around for several hours.  On the bright side, it's right near the Raptor Center which is definitely worth a visit.