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.


GDS WD Trail_usfws

Washington Ditch Trailhead:

With a scenic boardwalk and a 9-mile (round-trip) trail to Lake Drummond, this is the perfect stop for hiking, biking, and bird watching.

Click here for more refuge trail information

Important to Know!

Mask Mandate

To protect the health of those who live, work and visit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service public lands and facilities, and in support of the President’s Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing, face masks are required in all USFWS-managed buildings and facilities. Masks are also required on USFWS-managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, boardwalks, and observation decks.

Mask Mandate

Summer Jobs Available

Great Dismal Swamp NWR is hiring YCC Crew Members for an 8-week, full-time position beginning June 21. These positions will work outdoors and get to help with various projects around the refuge such as trail maintenance and construction, habitat restoration, and biology assistance.

More information on summer hiring

eBird Trail Tracker


Follow the link to see what birds are seen where as soon as anyone post to eBird! Photocredit:USFWS/MJohnson

eBird Tracker

For the Most Current Emergency Trail Notices...


Please go to our refuge facebook page! Damp and windy weather can bring down a tree and block a road without notice this time of year. And then there are habitat management and construction projects that may require brief temporary trail closings. The most current information is always available on the refuge facebook page.

GDSNWR facebook page

Comment Period Now Closed for Hunting Plan


The 3-month public comment period for our Draft Hunting Plan and Environmental Assessment has ended. We are now in the process of reviewing all submitted comments, developing responses, and incorporating any necessary changes as we finalize the plan. We anticipate that the final plan, with our responses, will be available prior to September 1.

2021 Great Dismal Swamp Draft Hunt Plan

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