Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Map of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center, 32 Pleasant Plains Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
Park System
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Geo Coords
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New Jersey birders and cyclists already know the area around this national wildlife park for different reasons—the park itself offers some of the best birdwatching and photography opportunities outside of the Meadowlands and a few stops along the shore—and the flat quite roads around the park offer miles of great cycling. But away from the roads and pull offs the Great Swamp also offers nature walkers and hikers alike some peaceful walking trails.

From the Wildlife Observation Center parking area along Long Hill Road one can find a few short trails, mostly over boardwalks, and bird observation blinds located around the marsh. Its a great stop for children and families and offers easy access to some of the parks common wildlife with many opportunities to see frogs, turtles, dragonflys, birds and even the occasional snake. Much of the area in this part of the park is highly managed and one should stay on the trails and paths provided.

For the more adventurous the eastern section of the park is designated a Wilderness Area and one can freely roam the trails and wooded area which contains 8.5 miles of hiking trails.

Friends of Great Swamp NWR

The Friends of Great Swamp is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to supporting the park through educational programs, tours, events, trail maintenance, and cleanup. They operate a gift shop located at 32 Pleasant Plains Road which help funds their efforts.

Hike Descriptions

Park Map & Brochure available for download from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services web site.

Purchase Photographs

Photos of this park taken by Chris Casciano. Photographs from parks and trails around New Jersey can be purchased at New Jersey Landscape Photography by Chris Casciano. Buy a print to support this site and take home a memory of the trails.

  • Boardwalk through the Swamp
  • zig and zag
  • from the boardwalk
  • its grrreat!
  • oblig. bullfrog photo

Map & Location

View directions via the Friends of Great Swamp or click on the map below for a link to Google Maps.

Map of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Guide Books Featuring This Park

  • New Jersey (Best Hikes With Children)
  • New Jersey Off the Beaten Path
  • 50 Hikes in New Jersey: Walks, Hikes, and Backpacking Trips from the Kittatinnies to Cape May
  • Circuit Hikes in Northern New Jersey
  • Nature Walks in New Jersey, 2nd: AMC Guide to the Best Trails from the Highlands to Cape May
  • AMC's Best Day Hikes Near New York City: Four-season Guide to 50 of the Best Trails in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey
  • Hiking New Jersey: A Guide to 50 of the Garden State's Greatest Hiking Adventures
  • 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: New York City: Including northern New Jersey, southwestern Connecticut, and western Long Island

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