Mason Neck State Park Kanes Creek

Mason Neck, Virginia

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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.

Mason Neck State Park: Kanes Creek Professional Review and Guide

"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."

Activity Type: Hiking, Trail Running
Nearby City: Mason Neck
Distance: 3.5
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2.5 hours
Season: Year-round
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Mason Neck State Park, 7301 High Point Rd., Lorton, VA 22079-4010; (703) 339-2385 or (703) 339-2380 (environmental center); www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/mas.shtm
Local Maps: A trail map is available at www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks; maps are available at the entrance gate and at the Environmental Education Center.
Driving Directions: Directions to Mason Neck State Park: Kanes Creek

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May 2018