Mason Neck State Park

Mason Neck, Virginia 22079

Mason Neck State Park

Mason Neck State Park Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Bordered by Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Pohick Bay Regional Park, and Gunston Hall historic plantation, 7,873-acre Mason Neck State Park is part of 5,600 acres of remarkably undisturbed wildlife habitat on this peninsula just minutes from Northern Virginia's urban sprawl."

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Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Easy Day Hikes: Washington, D.C. (Falcon Guides)
Louise S. Baxter
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"Popular with birders, this hike focuses on the Kanes Creek area, an offshoot of Belmont Bay. Look for bald eagles, herons, and osprey on your hike, especially as you get closer to the water. Mason Neck State Park came about when, in 1965, two bald eagle sightings occurred and the Mason Neck Conservation Committee was established. The area had been used for logging during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the removal of hardwoods, along with the use of the pesticide DDT, had driven the bald eagles away. When the two birds were sighted, the committee petitioned the Commonwealth of Virginia to purchase the land and create a park to preserve the area from development. The park is now part of the Virginia state park system and has an active heron rookery. It is also one of the best places in the Washington, D.C. area to see a bald eagle."
AMC's Best Day Hikes Near Washington, D.C. (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
Stephen Mauro and Beth Homicz
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"Mason Neck State Park provides sanctuary for a stunning array of winged predators, including bald eagles, ospreys, herons, and hawks. Its trails traverse sandy beaches, a tidal marsh, and dense woodland."
Best Easy Day Hikes: Washington, D.C. (Falcon Guides)
Louise S. Baxter
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"This short hike features the water and marshes of the Mason Neck area. Look for ducks, swans, and geese, especially in spring and fall. Mason Neck is a peninsula formed by Pohick Bay, Belmont Bay, and the Potomac River, and is home to many types of birds including herons, bald eagles, and swans. It is adjacent to Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge. The park has a series of trails, all very well marked. Several programs are offered throughout the year, including bald eagle–watching and birding walks, campfire talks, and animal tracking. The Environmental Education Center is surrounded by butterfly gardens, which create a spectacular show in summertime."
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Washington, DC (Menasha Ridge Press)
Renee Sklarew and Rachel Cooper
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"The state park and adjoining national wildlife refuge, both on a secluded peninsula in the southeastern corner of Fairfax County, provide a protected habitat for wildlife and some fine woodland and shoreline trails for hikers. Situated between Occoquan and Belmont Bays to the west and the Potomac River to the right, the 1,813-acre park and 2,227-acre refuge consist mostly of rolling woodlands. The trails are generally well marked and well maintained, with those in the park using color-coded trail names. The trails are only lightly used because nearly all visitors head for the park’s waterfront visitor center and nearby picnic area. Be sure to stay on the trails, as some areas are striving to regenerate the woodlands and wildlife."

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Trail Information

Mason Neck
Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly, Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Trail Type
Skill Level
3 hours
Birding, Biking
Additional Use
USGS 7.5 minute series: Ft. Belvoir, VA/MD
Local Maps

Trail Log