Bond Swamp Nat’l Wildlife Refuge
Quick Facts about the Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (NWR)
- Over 200 species of birds have been observed in or adjacent to Bond Swamp NWR, including: water fowl, predator birds, and hummingbirds.
- The Refuge provides habitats for a diverse animal population, including: snakes, bats, deer, feral pigs, skunks, and river otters.
- The Refuge has three hiking trails and a road system. During wet periods, some trails and roads may be inaccessible.
- Hunting and fishing in the Refuge are allowed. Check with the Refuge staff for regulations and permit requirements prior to hunting or fishing.
History and Purpose
Bond Swamp Natural Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established in 1989 along the Ocmulgee River in Bibb and Twiggs Counties approximately six miles south of Macon. Consisting of almost 6,500 acres, the Refuge serves to protect the Ocmulgee floodplains where Georgia’s Piedmont Plains meet the Coastal Plains along the Fall Line. Bond Swamp NWR is one of over 535 national refuge areas in the country.
The Ocmulgee River and its forests have been important in Macon’s development. Centuries ago, the Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole First Nations settled here because of the plentiful wildlife, timber, and ease of transportation due to the length of the river. The nearby Ocmulgee Indian Mounds remain as a rich resource for cultural and historic research and activities. European settlers relied on the area for timber and transportation as well.
The original footprint of Bond Swamp NWR was purchased through cooperative efforts of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy. Additional land and Refuge operations were made possible through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Trust for Public Land, and the Ocmulgee Historic Greenway. The Ocmulgee Heritage Greenway was established by citizens who work with local, state, and federal agencies to protect local wetlands and wildlife as a result of increased residential and commercial development.
The Ocmulgee Heritage Greenway, which includes Bond Swamp NWR, is intended to integrate recreational, historic, and scenic resources along the Ocmulgee. Bond Swamp NWR plays an important role in these efforts because these wetlands and forest provide habitats for year-round and migratory birds, reptiles, white tail deer, beavers, and bobcats, in addition to hardwood and pine forests, and a variety of vegetation.
Visitors to Bond Swamp NWR enjoy bird watching, photography, fishing, hiking, and educational programs. For more information on Bond Swamp NWR, or to plan a visit there, please view this informative brochure.