Facility Rules and Policies

There are lots of fun, interesting, and educational things you can do on the refuge. Keep in mind, if an activity is not wildlife related and doesn’t help in the protection or understanding of wildlife or their habitat, there are probably refuge rules governing this activity. Please check with the refuge management before participating in an activity that could harm the environment or yourself. There are plenty of activities at Great Dismal Swamp for you to enjoy. Be safe and have fun!

Top Five Things to Know:
  1. Refuge trails and boating on Lake Drummond are open daily, sunrise to sunset.
  2. Vehicle access on the refuge is through the Lake Drummond Wildlife Drive with required permit and fee. Enter at 3120 Desert Road, Suffolk, VA.  A self-service permit and fee envelope is available at the Permit Station, 1/2 mile east of the gate on Railroad Ditch road. Daily fee per vehicle is $5.00, cash or check. Other payment options are posted in kiosk and on fee envelope.  From April 1 through September 30 the gate opens at 7:00 am and closes at 6:00 pm. From October 1 through March 31 the gate opens at 7:30 am and closes at 4:00 pm.  All vehicles must exit by one hour after the gate closes.
  3. Pets must be leashed at all times.
  4. Never attempt to handle or feed wildlife.
  5. Collecting of animals or plants is prohibited.