National Parks / Natural World
Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Suffolk
Where is it at?
Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
3100 Desert Road
Where are we going today?
The USA has some incredible natural wonders. Some are caverns, some are mountains, and some are national reserves, just like the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Reserve.
The Great Dismal Swamp once covered over 1 million acres across Virginia and North Carolina. Now, it's 112,000 acres are protected, preserving the incredible flora and fauna that calls it home.
When you visit, there are a host of activities that can you enjoy as a family, and if you LOVE nature and the great outdoors, then you are certainly in lucky!
Did you know that the Great Dismal Swamp (that is far from dismal!) has over 80 miles of trails where you can hike and bike. It's a fun and easy way to see an extensive selection of the reserve.
If you want a more relaxed approach, you can enjoy the Auto Tour route, and see even MORE of the reserve!
No matter what time of year, you can take to the trails and enjoy a whole new side to this incredible Virginia refuge.
Love wildlife? You are in luck, because there is some GREAT wildlife viewing within the park, and perfect for those who love photography too. So far, over 200 species of birds have been identified, and nearly 50 species of mammals, including the black bear, bobcat, river otter, raccoon, ground hog, and even voles and bats!
You will also get to experience Lake Drummond - one of only two natural lakes in the entire state. This is the perfect place for boating and fishing, or even just spend a day wandering along the shore.
Great nature awaits at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Reserve
How much does it cost?
When can we go?
Trails sunrise to sunset. Auto Tour 7:30am - 3pm
All year round
Why not make a day of it and take a packed lunch? There are some beautiful spots within the park to sit back and enjoy it all!.
Make sure you take lots of water and healthy snacks for your energy, especially if you take to the trails. There aren't any sources of water along the trails.
Any Top Tips?
Be mindful of the elements! Wear bug spray and/or sunscreen. Pets must be on a leash at all times too.
Doing our bit
The park are dedicated to preserving the wildlife and flora within the park. It's protected, so help them out by picking up after yourself, and don't disturb any of the plants of animals..
Need a little extra help?
The auto trail is a great option as you can be in the comfort of your own vehicle for accessibility..
You can pick up self-serve permits at the gate entrance. Vehicles must exit by 4pm.
What people are saying?
by Lloyd Gatling
I hiked the Washington Ditch Trail as a youth over 50 years ago. I hope to go back this year and operate my ham radio set along the way and from Lake Drummond to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the parks. I am glad this area is protected. I hope there are not too many bears and insects...Look for W4LG from the Great Dismal Swamp and Lake Drummond this year - on-tbe-air!
by Amy Callis
If you're into nature, this is a great place for a hike or history tour.
by A Google User
We walked Washington's Ditch to Lake Drummond. 9 miles of boredom. Not much wildlife. The lake is pretty. The water is almost black from the super high acidity. And George Washington walked the path with a surveyor so we did it for the history appreciation. If you do it, pretend you are them the whole time and small talk like you're in the 1700s.
by A Google User
Simply put - if you like nature then you will love this place. Take bug spray though. See Lake Drummond during the fall - you won't be disappointed.
by A Google User
buitifull place for nature and biking.if you like to run or bike this awsome trail is a must see