Of the many incredible things to see in the Southeast, the Great Dismal Swamp is one of the greatest. This enormous wildlife refuge spreads over the regions of Northeastern North Carolina and Southeastern Virginia to create the ideal environment for a countless number of furry friends and other living creatures. Learn everything there is to know about this biologically important area, including what lives within it and what you can see there, to help you start planning your trip to this intriguing destination.
The Great Dismal Swamp History
This magnificent area is truly a natural phenomenon. The first recorded encounter with this swamp occurred in 1728 by Colonel William Byrd II. George Washington himself heard of this area and visited in 1763; he had high hopes of draining the water and transforming the region into farmland. Unfortunately for him, this task was near impossible, so the shares of this land were subsequently passed along and trees were cut down for lumbering. The Great Dismal Swamp played several roles throughout history, such as being a common route for fleeing slaves, and has been mentioned in many works of literature as well. This expansive area wasn’t made a National Refuge until the 1970s. It now consists of 107,000 acres of wetlands in addition to Lake Drummond and is considered one of the best outdoor laboratories in the world.
The Great Dismal Swamp Welcome Center
For everything you need to know about exploring this massive area, check out the Great Dismal Swamp Welcome Center! There you can find information about trails, events, hunting, birding, and much more. Be sure to visit the Great Dismal State Park as well, a key attraction of the swamp that offers additional activities, like hiking and kayaking. Don’t forget to stop in the gift shop on your way out for a souvenir!
Wildlife of the Great Dismal Swamp
You’re bound to see an abundance of flora and fauna in the Great Dismal Swamp! If you keep your eyes peeled, you can see over 96 species of birds, 96 species of butterflies, 47 species of mammals, and countless species of plants. Swainson’s warbler and Wayne’s warbler are two particular types of birds you should note; these birds are found more commonly here than in any other marsh. Other creatures found in the Great Dismal Swamp include black bears, river otters, white-tailed deer, hogs, red foxes, bobcats, bats, and squirrels; just make sure to watch out for the Great Dismal Swamp alligators! A 6,300 acre marsh, in addition to Lake Drummond, creates the perfect habitat for this multitude of diverse species.
Come Stay with Us at Inner Banks Inn!
While you’re in the area touring one of the world’s most fascinating natural treasures, make sure to complete your trip by staying in a top rated bed and breakfast; the only one rated five stars in both the lodging and dining categories in TripAdvisor’s North Carolina Coast Region! Inner Banks Inn is a deluxe bed and breakfast and restaurant in Edenton, NC, a charming little town nestled on the banks of the Albemarle Sound. There are numerous things to do in this lovely area, from strolling through downtown to observing the town’s many historic sites. Don’t miss out on a trip to one of the four most romantic spots in the Carolinas*; check our availability and reserve one of our luxurious rooms today!
*AAA Go Magazine
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