Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you recreate responsibly.

  • Check alerts and local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.


  • WOC Closed January 19th & 20th

    The Wildlife Observation Center will be closed Jan. 19th & 20th due to the closure of Long Hill Rd by Harding PD

  • Winter Road Advisory for Great Swamp NWR

    Be advised that during winter months Pleasant Plains Road, Wood Duck Way, and parking lots will be plowed when staff are available.

    Winter Road Advisory for Great Swamp NWR

  • Park Passes No Longer Available

    The America The Beautiful Passes are no longer sold at Great Swamp or Wallkill River NWR.

    America The Beautiful Passes No Longer Available

Important Things to Know

Winter Roads Advisory for Great Swamp NWR

Visitors to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge be advised that during winter months Pleasant Plains Road, Wood Duck Way, and parking lots will be plowed within the limitations of personnel available. Refuge roads and parking lots receive limited amount of salt to protect the fragile refuge environment.

Great Swamp Winter Roads Advisory

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!

What's Happening

Helen C. Fenske Visitor Center Update


During the winter months, 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, Saturday, and Sunday from 10AM to 2PM. Visitors will be restricted to ten (10) people at a time. Visitors will be required to wear masks inside the center. Social distancing inside the center will also be required. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in keeping everyone safe. The restrooms at the Wildlife Observation Center are open to the public. 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