Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center

247 Southern Blvd * Chatham Township * NJ 07928

The Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center (GSOEC), situated on 44 acres on the eastern end of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, serves as an important crossroad between nature and civilization. You can walk along 2 miles of flat trails and boardwalk, from sunrise to sunset throughout the year, and enjoy the spectacular views of swamp, marsh, meadow, pond, forest habitats, and wildlife.  It is the unique intermingling of these habitats and diversity of terrain that gives the Great Swamp its unique character.

Venture into the Visitors Center to view the many interactive and educational exhibits designed to entertain and inform about the natural history of the area. A large mural with two dozen realistic, taxidermied animals helps you to develop a better understanding and appreciation of the types of creatures that call the Great Swamp home. Observe live reptiles and insects, test your nature knowledge with the many interactive displays, or attempt to fit inside a replica bear den. Stop by the model wigwam behind the center to see what life was like for the Lenape Indians.

There are seasonal programs and events, school and scout programs, as well as summer camps. For more information visit

The Great Swamp was created approximately 15,000 years ago, when the melting waters of the Wisconsin Glacier poured into the natural basin known as the Passaic Valley. However, the Great Swamp is not entirely swampland but rather a mixture of marshes, meadows, dry woods and brush-covered swamps.

Of Special Note:

  • The Great Swamp was identified by the NYNJ Port Authority as an ideal location for a new jetport in the late 1950s
  • Local residents fought to keep it natural and it became the nation’s first U.S. National Wildlife Refuge
  • The effort to save the swamp was an early “win” for the new conservation movement


Morris County, located 30 miles west of NYC, is home to some of America’s most important history and culture just waiting for you to explore. Start by walking in the footsteps of Revolutionary icons such as George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, then pick apples right off the tree at one of our verdant farms and end your day having a delicious dinner; discover how to make my weekend Morris County!
6 Court St. Morristown, NJ 07960
Phone: 973-631-5151
Leslie Bensley Photo of Jane Joe Executive Director at Morris County Tourism Bureau
6 Court St. Morristown, NJ 07960