Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Georgia

(478) 986-5441

Map Directions

Things To Do

     

Overview

Bond Swamp NWR, located 6 miles south of Macon, was established in 1989 to protect, maintain and enhance the forested wetland ecosystem of the Ocmulgee River floodplain. It opened to the public in 2000 and currently consists of 6,500 acres situated along the fall line separating the Piedmont and Coastal Plains. The refuge has a diversity of vegetation communities, including mixed hardwood-pine, bottomland hardwoods, tupelo gum swamp forests, creeks, tributaries, beaver swamps, and oxbow lakes. The refuge is rich in wildlife diversity including white-tailed deer, wood ducks, black bears, alligators, wild turkey, a nesting pair of bald eagles, and excellent wintering habitat for waterfowl. Extensive bottomland hardwoods provide critical habitat for neotropical songbirds of concern, such as Swainson's warbler, wood thrush, and prothonotary warbler and yellow-billed cuckoo. The combination of warm weather and wet areas at Bond Swamp provide ideal conditions for a variety of reptile and amphibian species.

Map of Bond Swamp NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 32.723465, -83.564415

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Activities

  • Fishing

    Fishing is open March 15 through October 15, from sunrise to sunset.

    Fishing is permitted only in areas designated as open to fishing.

    Species limits: same as State regulations except largemouth bass must be 14 inches in length to keep.

    Fisherman may use only rod and reel or pole and line to fish.

    Fisherman man not place or throw feeds to attract fish.

    Bond Swamp Fishing Regulations

    Designated Fishing Areas

    Reids Station Road - bank fishing on Stone Creek - may fish along the north side of road and may walk south along creek bank to power line about 1/4 mile.

    Stone Creek Parking Area - walk in 300 yards to creek - can fish north along creek to beaver pond and south to railroad tracks.

    Bondsview Road - drive to railroad tracks to park, then walk 100 yards to river on marked trail.

    How to Get Refuge Permits

    Permits are required for all fishermen regardless of age. When signed, a Bond Swamp Hunting and Fishing Regulations brochure serves as a permit. Permits may be obtained at the Stone Creek and Longlead Pine Trail parking lots, the Piedmont Refuge headquarters in Jones county, by mail, telephone or email at piedmont@fws.gov. (478) 986 - 5441. Please request Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Hunting and Fishing Regulations brochure.

    **To report a violation on the refuge, if you have a question about required fishing licenses, fishing seasons, or if you have any other law enforcement question, please contact Refuge Officer Thomas Payne at Thomas_Payne@fws.gov, or contact the Piedmont Refuge office (478) 986 - 5441.

  • Hiking

    Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is managed in coordination with Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. Offices for both refuges are located in the Piedmont Refuge Visitor Center which contains exhibits describing wildlife and habitats found at Bond Swamp. The Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday, 8 am - 5 pm, except on federal holidays/ Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is open daily during daylight hours, although some access roads and portions of the refuge may be closed during periods of flooding or deer and feral hog hunts. Hiking on the refuge can be enjoyable throughout the year. Approximately four miles of hiking trails are available. The Longleaf Pine trail provides views on an upland pine/hardwood forest, while the Beaver Swamp Loop trail meanders along Stone Creek and through forested wetlands. Additional information on Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge can be found at kiosks located in the Stone Creek and Longleaf Pine trail parking areas, in the Bond Swamp Refuge general brochure and at the Visitor Center at Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge.

    Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, including hiking trails, is closed for short periods during limited Refuge hunts. Contact the main Refuge office at (478) 986 - 5441 for more information. A Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Hiking Trail Map can be obtained by contacting the Visitor Center or sending an e-mail with your request to piedmont@fws.gov.

    Warning: Ticks and chiggers are present throughout the year and are especially bad in the summer and early fall. Biting yellow-flies are also present in the summer. Use a strong insect repellent.

    The Beaver Swap Loop trail may be closed due to flooding during periods of heavy rain in the winter and spring months.

  • Hunting

    Through a partnership effort with the State of Georgia and the Ocmulgee Heritage Greenway, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service opened Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to some compatible wildlife oriented recreational uses in 2000. Hunting for white-tailed deer and feral hogs, bank fishing, wildlife observation through hiking, and environmental education are some of the approved recreational uses for the refuge.

    The refuge is open to the public year round for visitation and pre-hunt scouting during day light hours, except during firearm hunts. Public access is permitted only on the portion of the refuge that is located east of the Ocmulgee River in Bibb and Twiggs counties. Camping is prohibited.

    Applications for the Bond Swamp deer and hog hunts are available the first week in August.

    The refuge is primarily river swamp with creeks and sloughs traversing the entire area. When Ocmulgee River overflows its banks, the flood plain may remain flooded for weeks. Access by vehicle and on foot may be difficult. Four-wheel drive vehicles may be required to access some areas. Portions of the refuge may be closed during periods of flooding.

    Public hunting is permitted on approximately 5,455 acres of the current 7,348 acres of Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. All hunters must posses applicable valid state hunting licenses in order to hunt on the Refuge along with a Refuge special use permit. In addition to Federal regulations, State Game and Fish laws and regulations are adopted and in effect unless they have been further restricted by Federal laws and regulations. Hunting regulations are designed to protect the sportsman and wildlife populations. The Refuge's regulations supplement the general regulations which govern hunting on National Wildlife Refuges as set forth in Title 50, Code 32 of Federal Regulations.

    As of September 2012, migratory bird and upland game hunting have been added to the refuge; wild turkey has been added to the big game hunting program.

    **To report a violation on the refuge, if you have a question about required hunting licenses, hunting seasons, or if you have any other law enforcement question, please contact Refuge Officer Thomas Payne at Thomas_Payne@fws.gov.

Directions

Driving

Located in middle Georgia, Bond Swamp NWR is six miles south of Macon. In Macon, take I-75 to I-16 East to Exit 6, Route 23/129 South. Go 4.2 miles to the Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge sign at the Stone Creek entrance on the right. The Bond Swamp NWR visitor center is located at Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in Jones County, Georgia, approximately 30 miles north of Macon. In Macon, take I-75 north to Exit 171, GA 87/US 23/Riverside Drive, go north approximately 14 miles to Juliette Road. Turn east on Juliette Road and follow signs to the visitor center.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(478) 986-5441

Links

Comments

I think you'll find this area enjoyable but know what you're getting into first.   It's not like a parkland setting these are woods and swamps.

If you're going hiking, be sure to take your cellphone, the park brousure (encase you get lost you can call), a compass wouldn't hurt and take notice of your surroundings (trees, creek direction of the sun and other landmarks) as it's very, very easy to get turned around in these woods.  Be safe, besides ticks and chiggars are snakes which if you look hard enough, you may find.  

While the trail is marked, it's still easy to loose your way if you venture very far.  Best to know which direction you're going in to head to the road or main highway.

Insect repellent is a must.  I recommend bringing a beach towel to wipe it and dirt off when you're ready to leave.    

It's amazing that we have such a diverity of landscape in the Middle Georgia area.   This property will take you several visits to experience it all.