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


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!

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


During the month of December, the Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center will be open with limited hours and under the guidance of CDC and federal guidelines. The center will be open on Friday's and Saturday's from 10 am to 2 pm. Visitors will be restricted to five (5) people at a time. Visitors will be required to wear masks inside the center. Social distancing inside the center will also be required. The center will be closed Friday, December 25-26 for the Christmas holiday and January 1-2, 2021 for the New Year Holiday. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in keeping everyone safe. The restrooms at the Wildlife Observation Center will be open to the public effective Saturday, December 12, 2020. The restrooms will be cleaned three times a week. Please use at your own risk.

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