Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Park Site

Trail Map

Hike Distance:  1.02 Miles

Trails:  White Oak trail

My Map:

Another hike while still “shut down.” Great Swamp is another park that is a relatively short drive from home, so I figured I would explore this.  Reading about it in 50 Hikes of New Jersey (the really old edition,) I noticed that they called out that this would be one of the wettest hikes in their book that you would undertake.  Further, it rained the night before I went up.  However, it was bright and sunny, so I figured this would be interesting.

And interesting it was.  There are two longish out-and-back hikes that have separate trailheads.  I planned on walking the longer one.  After parking and getting ready, I walked in…only to find shin-deep mud.  I bushwacked and stayed as dry as possible, looking for passable routes.  Nope, none.  After about a quarter mile (and an hour of walking) I turned around and sought the other trail head.  Unfortunately, it was much the same.  I don’t mind a little mud, but the hiking was long for such a short distance, and upon scouting what was in front of me, it didn’t appear to be getting better, on the contrary; it was getting worse.

I realize the park is a wildlife refuge, and as such trails are not “maintained” to the degree that other parks maintain trails.  The trails and the park are left to nature.  I resolved to come back another day, such as after a week of no rain – maybe it would dry out a little.

On the way out of the park I passed the visitor’s center, and happened to see a trailhead out of the corner of my eye.  So, turning around, I parked and investigated.  It was too nice a day to drive the distance I did for nothing.  I found the White Oak trail, which was a short loop right across from the the parking lot.  This trail was split between a meadow walk and a short jaunt into the woods.

A couple of pictures:

The large white oak tree:

The White Oak

Excuse my finger

Ticks: 0

Blaxes:

Hiked:  6/7/20

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