Established in 1960, The Great Swamp was created to conserve natural resources while protecting threatened and endangered species for future generations. It is not only a place to protect animals but their habitats. In the nearly 7,800 acres of land, they protect a variety of species including fox, deer, muskrat, turtles, fish, frogs and a wide variety of wildflowers and more than 244 species of birds.
The experience of being in this environment reminds me of when I was in high school reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau. In a series of essays, Thoreau talks about his idea of transcendentalism: how you need to be one with nature and the idea that people and nature are both part of each other. While walking along the wooden path there are little to no boundaries between you and the wildlife- you are truly on your own. This is a place where you can get lost in thoughts and truly admire nature. It is a place you can set up an easel and start painting, a place you can practice your photography, a place to learn about an ecosystem, but like anywhere you visit it is what you make it.
There have been sightings of bears, coyotes, deer, and several other animals but (thankfully) have never encountered one! The observation deck can be found by following the signs. Usually I spend my time there just walking the paths and taking time to rest myself. I encourage anyone passing through Morris County, New Jersey to stop by and take a hike!