Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center
We hiked in the Great Swamp of New Jersey several times in the past, the most recent being the hike on January 10th of this year. But we had never hiked the small network of trails within a sub-area of the swamp known as the Outdoor Education Center (OEC). So, instead of taking our Sunday afternoon walk through town, we decided to take advantage of the abundant sunshine and head to the OEC, a mere 10 minutes from our house. And over the course of the next hour or so, we hiked every trail in the park: the Orange, Blue, Green and Pioneer Red trails. Total distance was approximately 1.5 miles, on a very pleasant afternoon in a wintry woods filled with deer. A trail map of this area can be found here.

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Green trail head at visitor's center

Laura goofing

Checking animal tracks

Self portrait with covered boardwalk

Bridge on Green trail

Boardwalk on Red trail [Photo by Laura]

Curious deer

White-tailed deer (duh!)


Three deer in gas line cut

Two fawns

Brave little guy

Boardwalk on Red trail


Red continues along power line cut

Is that a beaver lodge?

Frozen swamp stream

The Prayer of the Woods

Wood-burning stove behind visitor's center

Orange trail head

Curious bamboo structure

View from inside

View to inside [Photo by Laura]


Old growth

Swamp on Orange

Long boardwalks ...

... wind around the swamp [photo by Laura]

Rhododendron thicket on Blue trail


Raccoon or oppossum tracks

Jack rabbit tracks

Frozen pond from observation deck

Bird house across lake

Maple sugaring bucket

Wind vane and commercial jet

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