Plan Your Visit

Wallkill River - USFWS.

Know Before You Go

  • The refuge and its trails are open daily from dawn to dusk.  There is no fee or permit required for hiking trails or fishing access.    
  • The parking area at the refuge headquarters has a restroom and potable water and is open daily year round.
  • This is a natural area. Beware of poison ivy, ticks, and other biting insects.
  • The trails are unimproved and of minimal difficulty, though they may be seasonally wet. Please stay on maintained trails.
  • Observe wildlife from a safe and respectful distance. Binoculars allow you to view wildlife closely without disturbing them.
  • Please do not feed wildlife; it may make them unnaturally dependent on humans and more susceptible to disease.
  • Dogs are prohibited on refuge trails, with the exception of the Liberty Loop trail.  To accommodate Appalachian Trail hikers, dogs (on leash) are permitted only on the Liberty Loop trail.

Points of Interest

The refuge headquarters is located at 1547 County Route 565, (Glenwood Road), Sussex, NJ 07461. When using a navigational device, enter only 1547 Glenwood Road, Sussex, NJ 07461. Telephone number is 973-702-7266. The Dagmar Dale Nature Trail is located at the Headquarters as well as public bathrooms which are open daily year round. A small visitor center with exhibits is open weekdays from 8:00 to 4:30. Federal Duck Stamps and Access Passes are available for purchase at this location. Various environmental educational programs are conducted in and around the refuge headquarters throughout the year.

Liberty Loop Trail, 7 miles north of the headquarters is a popular visitor location and well known for the outstanding opportunity it provides for wildlife observation and photography as well as a 2.5 mile nature trail. 

The Winding Waters Trail, located 0.5 mile west of the Liberty Loop trailhead, offers another 2.1 miles of trail along the river and through restored fields and fishing/canoe access at the trailhead.

The Timberdoodle Trail connects to the Liberty Loop Trail and follows an old railbed through forested bottomlands and wetlands, extending 2.3 miles south of Bassett’s Bridge Road.  Trailheads are located at Owens Station Crossing, Bassett’s Bridge and Kelly Roads.  The trailhead at Owens Station Crossing also offers a handicap-accessible boat launch and fishing dock, as well as a Nature Store which is open seasonally.  Call the refuge office for nature shop openings and hours.

Owens Station Crossing (located at 136 Owens Station Road, Sussex NJ) is one of the refuge's most-visited public use areas.  It features an accessible dock for fishing and launching kayaks or canoes, a pavilion with picnic tables, and a public restroom.  Beautiful pollinator gardens, ample parking, and easy access to the refuge's Timberdoodle and Liberty Loop Trails make this a convenient starting point for exploring the refuge.  Various programs are held at this location throughout the year, during which time a small gift shop may also be open.

Bassett’s Bridge fishing and canoe launch is a popular location for river access. A large parking area with a boardwalk to the water’s edge provides paddlers and anglers opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Wallkill River.

The Wood Duck Nature Trail, conveniently located just off Route 23 is a hiking trail that provides year round enjoyment for people of all ages. Established on an abandoned railroad bed, this 1.6 mile trail is wheelchair accessible for the first 0.6 mile.