Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

3100 Desert Road

The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is the largest intact remnant of a vast habitat that once covered more than one million acres of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. Formal protection of this resource began in 1973, when the Union Camp Corporation (a local forest products company) donated 49,097acres to The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy conveyed the donated land to the federal government, which, combined with additionally purchased land, was used to establish the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in 1974.

The Dismal Swamp Act of 1974 directs the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to: “Manage the area for the primary purpose of protecting and preserving a unique and outstanding ecosystem, as well as protecting and perpetuating the diversity of animal and plant life therein. Management of the refuge will be directed to stabilize conditions in as wild a character as possible, consistent with achieving the refuge’s stated objectives.”


Bri Mini

Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017

Walked about 5 miles down Washington Ditch to the Lake. Very peaceful, very clean, beautiful. A few benches but if walking is hard for you I wouldn't suggest. Definitely a good hike. Nice little patio and lookout at the lake front. I would highly suggest biking! This is a great place for it.

Allyson Gailey

Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017

Kayaked here several weeks ago. Amazing! It's so beautiful on the lake and it's worth the journey. A ton of wildlife can be spotted and the trees on the edges of Drummond are so interesting to look at.

Heidi Pocklington

Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017

Went to get a Lifetime Pass, ended up driving to the lake. Had a nice chat with the park employees in the visitors center. Bring bug repellant, a hat, good shoes and a camera.

Kev S.

Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017

Swans migratory path and breeding ground that crater lake right there, is a very strange lake. Good for bike ride and walk/jog.

Don McAlister

Saturday, Sep. 23, 2017

Lovely kayak trip to Lake Drummond. Beautiful location and nice facilities to transfer from canal to lake.