Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we encourage you to:

  • Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information
  • Follow current CDC safe practices by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick


  • 2020 Fall Festival Cancelled

    Due to COVID-19, the annual Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Fall Festival scheduled for Saturday, September 26th has been cancelled.

  • America The Beautiful Passes Available

    America The Beautiful Passes are available by appointment only at the Great Swamp NWR Call 973-425-0215 x 1

Important Things to Know

Injured or Orphaned Wildlife

It’s that time of year when many baby animals abound. If you come across what appears to be an orphaned baby animal, usually the best course of action is to leave it alone. Parents are often close by, even if you can’t see them. The refuge provides habitat for animals, but we do not have any facilities to treat orphaned or injured animals. If you see an injured animal, or if the baby animal is in distress, that is when licensed wildlife rehabilitators step in! For injured birds, please contact The Raptor Trust at the link below. For more information, or for other animals, please consult New Jersey’s list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators at

The Raptor Trust

Dog Walkers

We love dogs too at Great Swamp NWR, but our priority is to protect people, wildlife, and habitat. Service dogs are welcome anywhere that is open to the public. Dog walking is ONLY allowed along Pleasant Plains Road and in the parking area and grass area immediately around the Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center. Dogs are not allowed on ANY refuge trails or at the Wildlife Observation Center. Dogs must be on a leash and owners must clean-up after their pets. Dog feces contain several diseases which are transmittable to wildlife. Please cooperate, since you can be ticketed if you are in violation. Thank you!

Wildlife Observation Center Update

The Wildlife Observation Center is open dawn to dusk, the restrooms remain closed. Please check the Refuge's Facebook page for up to date information.

Visitor Activities

Visitor Activities Promo

There are a wide variety of visitor activities available at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge including wildlife viewing, photography, environmental education and hunting.

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What's Happening

Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center Update


The Visitor Center is open by appointment only. Call 973-425-1222 x1. Refuge Trails and Pleasant Plains Road remain open.

Learn about Friends of Great Swamp NWR

About the Complex

Lenape Refuge Complex

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Lenape Refuge Complex.

Read more about the complex
About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS