Beavers at the Refuge, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Beaver, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Wood duck, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Spicebush swallowtail caterpillar, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Wild turkeys, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge trail camera photo
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Great egret, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Water lilies, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Great blue heron, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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White-tailed deer, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Black racer, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Ruffed grouse, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

Unexpected Wildlife Refuge is a protected natural habitat comprising 767 acres of pristine pine lands, forest, fields and bogs. It provides a refuge to animals and plants indigenous to southern New Jersey; a place where wildlife can live freely and naturally without fear of being harmed at the hands of human beings. We began as the home of Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci and Cavit Buyukmihci, who dedicated their land to habitat preservation so that native wildlife and habitat could thrive. We are a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) entity, federal ID 23-7025010.
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Beavers in one of Refuge's wetlands area, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo

Visiting Unexpected Wildlife Refuge

Visitation by appointment only

To schedule a visit, call us at 856.697.3541 or send an E-mail message. Each adult visitor is required to sign a waiver of liability, which you can download here, prepare and either return to us via E-mail (preferred; we will then have it ready for you to sign on your arrival) or bring with you. Please review our visitor guidelines below. Our guided tours can cover some of or all the ten miles of trails that wind through the Refuge property. Educational and reference materials are available to visitors at the Nature Center. Except for the trails, the land is left essentially undisturbed so that animals and plants can thrive based on habitat and food suitability dictated by nature. Bluebirds, a favorite of our founders, nest in the Refuge, some of whom winter over, feeding on cedar berries deep in the swamps. Beavers are much celebrated inhabitants, but usually only can be seen at dusk or dawn.

Visitor guidelines


Waiver of liability

The Refuge requires that each adult visitor fill in, sign and submit a one-time liability waiver form in order to gain access. If children are involved, they can be listed on the form of the adult who is taking responsibility for them. This waiver is intended to educate visitors about the risks inherent in any wildlife refuge as well as providing protection for the Refuge.

Our hope is that you will, as a potential visitor, download, fill in, print (double-sided if possible in order to reduce paper use), sign and date the form so that you can bring it with you in order to expedite your visit and make our record-keeping easier. Alternately, you can fill in the form, save it and then E-mail the filled in form as an attachment to us at manager@unexpectedwildliferefuge.org and we will have it printed and ready for you to sign and date upon your arrival.