National Wildlife Refuge
|241 Pleasant Plains Road
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
Phone Number: 973-425-1222
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
|The Great Swamp Refuge contains approximately 7,500 acres of swamp woodland, hardwood ridges, cattail marsh, grassland, ponds and meandering streams.|
The refuge provides an excellent opportunity for learning about a variety of ecosystems. There are two separate Environmental Education Centers, the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center and the Somerset County Environmental Center.
The Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center is operated by the Morris County Parks Commission and is located on the eastern side of the refuge off Southern Boulevard in Chatham Township. The center offers a varied natural science program of classes and guided tours and provides 1 mile of trail and boardwalk for the public.
The Somerset County Environmental Education Center is operated by the Somerset County Parks Commission and is located on the western border of the refuge in Lord Stirling Park. The park has a varied program of environmental education courses, guided field trips and 8 1/2 miles of walking trails.
There is an annual Deer Hunt that typically occurs in late November or early December. Please contact the refuge headquarters for more information.
The refuge's foremost goal is to provide migrating, nesting and feeding habitat for migratory birds. A secondary goal is to provide high quality environmental education and wildlife dependant recreation opportunities, which are compatible with the refuge's purposes. Scientific study and research by colleges, universities, qualified organizations and individuals are also encouraged.
Approximately 350,000 people visit the refuge annually, with the Wildlife Observation Center being the most popular pursuit. People are encouraged to observe, study, photograph and hike in designated areas. The refuge has a Wildlife Observation Center that provides spectacular wetlands vistas and is particularly good for photography and wildlife observation. There are over one mile of boardwalk trails, interpretive displays, information kiosk, two blinds for observing wildlife and heated restrooms. The facility is handicap accessible.
There are 8 1/2 miles of hiking trails that are located in the wilderness area of the refuge. The 1 1/2 mile road located near the refuge headquarters (Pleasant Plains Road) provides the opportunity for an auto tour of the management portion of the refuge. Located at the end of Pleasant Plains Road are a wheelchair accessible overlook, visitors may see a wide variety of wildlife and habitat management efforts. The tour route is open seven days a week from dusk to dawn.
For more information on Leave No Trace, visit the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Web site. (http://www.lnt.org)
The refuge headquarters is open from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., Monday through Friday. Refuge grounds are open all year from sunrise to sunset. During the spring and fall, the refuge headquarters may be open additional hours. Please call ahead for information.
There are no fees to enter the refuge.
Items sold at the Refuge Headquarters: Federal Duck Stamp valid July 1 to June 30 ($15.00); Golden Age Passports for those over 62 years of age or older ($10.00); or the Golden Access Passports free for the blind or permanently disabled.
|- Refuge Profile Page -|