"Not really so dismal..." Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge by tayloretc

I went to the Great Dismal Swamp just because of the name. Apparently there's a history behind it, including much misery, but today it's a misnomer - the place is lovely. I went on foot from one of the west side entrances to the large central lake, and met a few others on foot and a cyclist, otherwise just me and the animals - lots of birds and veritable swarms of butterflies, some deer...

It's an easy day trip from Virginia Beach, although it was hard to find any of the entrances coming from the west approach. The shortest hike from an entrance to the lake is about 4.5 miles one way, all flat. There wasn't anywhere to get water or refreshments that I could see. I was there in late July, hot and humid and very buggy. Pack water and slather yourself with as much bug stuff as you can stand.

Check the park's website for details.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Quiet, pretty, easy hike
  • Cons:Bugs, no amenities
  • Last visit to Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge: Jul 2004
  • Intro Updated Nov 25, 2006
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tayloretc

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