Established in 1974, the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge consists of over 112,000 acres of forested wetlands in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. The 3,100 acre Lake Drummond lies at the center of the swamp, with the Feeder Ditch connecting the lake to the Dismal Swamp Canal to the east. The refuge is a favorite with sportsmen for hunting for six Fridays and Saturdays in October and November. Birding is popular in April and May, as over 220 species of birds have been identified on the refuge. A three day festival celebrates Migratory Bird Day each May with guided tours and workshops.
Refuge trails are open daily sunrise to sunset for hiking and biking. Canoes, kayaks, and small craft with a 25hp limitation are allowed on Lake Drummond. Canoe rentals are available on Route 17 at Chesapeake Campground. Refuge visitors enjoy sightings of abundant and diverse wildlife. White-tail deer, black bear, bobcat, river otter can be seen from the trails. Summers days bring butterfly observation to peak numbers, with the refuge being home to at least 65 species. Winters bring thousands of snow geese and tundra swan with their loud voices to the quietness of Lake Drummond.