The Great Swamp

Millington, New Jersey

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1 Review
5 out of 5
Visit the former 18,000-year-old glacial Lake Passaic, now called the Great Swamp. It doesn’t take long hiking this level loop to learn why it’s designated a National Natural Landmark. Within the 450-acre park’s natural lands, the route meanders through marshes, meadows, swamps, and woodlands, while hugging the Passaic River and series of ponds. This hike takes us through rich bottomland meadows, once part of a glacial lake. It was prime farmland—and responsible for the park’s name, indirectly. William Alexander, who lived here, was a Lord who died creating a democracy. He was born in 1725 to a wealthy family with a profitable provisioning business. He married Sarah Livingston in 1748; his brother-in-law William Livingston was a future governor. He had land interests in the East Jersey Board of Proprietors, and became one of the founders of King’s College in New York, now Columbia University.
Best Easy Day Hikes: Northeast New Jersey

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Easy Day Hikes: Northeast New Jersey

by Paul E. DeCpste and Ronald J. Dupont Jr. (Falcon Guides)

Visit the former 18,000-year-old glacial Lake Passaic, now called the Great Swamp. It doesn’t take long hiking this level loop to learn why it’s designated a National Natural Landmark. Within the 450-acre park’s natural lands, the route meanders through marshes, meadows, swamps, and woodlands, while hugging the Passaic River and series of ponds.

This hike takes us through rich bottomland meadows, once part of a glacial lake. It was prime farmland—and responsible for the park’s name, indirectly. William Alexander, who lived here, was a Lord who died creating a democracy. He was born in 1725 to a wealthy family with a profitable provisioning business. He married Sarah Livingston in 1748; his brother-in-law William Livingston was a future governor. He had land interests in the East Jersey Board of Proprietors, and became one of the founders of King’s College in New York, now Columbia University.

©  Paul E. DeCpste and Ronald J. Dupont Jr./Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Millington
Distance: 2.9
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 1.5 hours
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Local Maps: DeLorme New Jersey Atlas & Gazetteer
Driving Directions: Directions to The Great Swamp

Recent Trail Reviews

9/1/2012
0

The great swamp is one of my all-time favorite places and is a local treasure (and to think it almost became an airport). I have been here many times. Perfect place to bring younger children. This part of the great swamp is nestled between Lord Sterling Stables and the raptor refuge. Its a network of beautiful swamp trails, with overlook towers and some boardwalks. Most intersections have a map, so even amateur hikers can never get lost. Its quite muddy so bring boots. I have done it with a jogger stroller- I don't recommend trying it with a regular stroller. I don't recommend any part of the great swamp in the summer as the mosquitoes can be be quite bothersome. Swamps are best visited in the fall (in my opinion). The great swamp seems to turn colors early (probably due to the soil composition and water) so don't wait too late into the fall. But the colors and hues are incredible. If you have never been to the G.S. this is a great place to start. It does have a visitor center but I have never been there. This is a spot where they do lots of guided activities (including getting maple syrup from the tree in the winter) often geared for kids. I have never actually done any of the guided things, so I can't rate them, except to say if you look at their calendar, they have a lot of things going on. The actual hiking is easy. You go here for the incredible experience, not for hardcore hiking. When I get a chance I will review the other hikes in the G.S. as I have explored virtually every nook and cranny of the entire swamp and surrounding area.



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Apr 2018