U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Wallkill River
National Wildlife Refuge

Liberty Marsh
1547 County Route 565
Sussex, NJ   07461 - 4013
E-mail: wallkillriver@fws.gov
Phone Number: 973-702-7266
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Liberty Marsh
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  Wildlife Observation and Photography
Continued . . .

There are three nature trails on the refuge. Each nature trail provides excellent wildlife viewing opportunity. In winter months, with proper snow conditions, cross country skiing and snowshoeing are allowed on these trails. The Wood Duck Nature Trail, appropriately named for the secretive duck, was made possible through the hard work and dedication of refuge volunteers. This trail extends about 1.5 miles on a former railroad bed ending at the Wallkill River. The self-guiding interpretive trail includes a nature photography blind, interpretive nature signs, a footbridge across Beaver Run, and several benches. Extensive wetlands are located along the trail. The trail is flat and provides easy walking. During some hunt seasons, hunting is allowed on and near the trail. Visitors are urged to wear safety orange when the trail is open to both hunters and non-hunters. During some other hunt seasons, the trail is closed to non-hunters. The trail head is located on Route 565 in Wantage, New Jersey, approximately 200 yards north of Route 23. Future plans include construction of a footbridge across the Wallkill River, continuation of the trail along the former railroad bed, and construction of a parking area off of Scenic Lakes Road in Hardyston.

The 2.5-mile Liberty Loop Trail was created on a former sod farm, which before it was manipulated for agricultural use had been a forested wetland. The trail is co-aligned with the Appalachian Trail for 1 mile. The trail loops around a wetland and grassland management unit, providing an excellent opportunity to observe waterfowl and grassland birds. The trail is flat and provides easy walking. Hunting is not allowed on this part of the refuge. The trail parking area is located on the south side of Oil City Road in Pine Island (Warwick), New York.

The Dagmar Dale Nature Trail was officially opened on September 23, 2001. It travels through grasslands and hardwood forests from the Refuge headquarters down to the Wallkill River. This trail, is 2.7 miles in length, consisting of two loops. The North Loop (Blue Trail) is 1.7 miles in length and the South Loop (Yellow Trail) is 1 mile in length, both traversing hilly terrain. Parking for this trail is behind the refuge headquarters on Rt. 565 in Vernon.

Photography is allowed in any area open to the general public. A special use permit is required for access to other refuge lands. There is a fee for the permit.

One of the best ways to see the Wallkill River NWR is by canoe or kayak. You will experience the great diversity of habitats that makes the refuge unique. Canoeing takes you through beautiful floodplain forests, wet meadows which are maintained by seasonal flooding, and under tall rock cliffs. Water levels in the river fluctuate seasonally. During spring, the wet meadows may be flooded, making the river channel difficult to follow. Conversely, by mid summer, the river may not be passable due to low water levels. Autumn rains generally raise the water level once again. Snags and fallen trees are removed by volunteers only, so be prepared to haul your canoe over beaver dams and downed timber. Please use caution when hauling your canoe in or out of the river as steep, slippery banks may occur at the access points. More information about access points on the river, as well as a refuge map, is available on the refuge website.

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