Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWTBefore heading out to visit a site on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail, be sure to check if that site has any COVID-19 policies or closures in place. This information is typically posted on a site's own website.

Description

The Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, purchased in 1969, was the first refuge in the nation created to protect critical habitat for bald eagles. The refuge lies next to Mason Neck State Park and protects a large patch of uninterrupted forest that stretches from Accotink Bay to Occoquan Bay. The Great Marsh Trail, 0.75 miles long, and the Woodmarsh Trail, 3 miles long, both have information kiosks at the trailheads. The trails meander through an oak-hickory forest to a tidal marsh along the Potomac River. Avian species diversity explodes during spring and fall migration, when migrant songbirds and hawks come through the refuge. The marsh offers spectacular views of bald eagles, osprey, terns, and wintering waterfowl.

Note: Open year-round, except during temporary closures during November – December for managed deer hunts. If planning to visit during these months, call the headquarters office or check website for scheduled closures.

Directions

Physical Address: High Point Rd., Lorton, VA, 22079

From Previous Site on Mason Neck Loop of VBWT:

From Pohick Bay Regional Park, return to SR 242/Gunston Rd, turn left, and drive 1.1 miles to High Point Rd. Continue 1.5 miles on Gunston Rd to Great Marsh Trail (handicap accessible) or turn right onto High Point Rd and drive 0.7 miles to the Woodmarsh Trail of the Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: 703-490-4979, potomacriverrefuges@fws.gov
  • Website
  • Access: Free, Daily

Birds Recently Seen at Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge (as reported to eBird)

  • Tundra Swan
  • Barred Owl
  • Canada Goose
  • American Wigeon
  • Mallard
  • American Black Duck
  • Northern Pintail
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Bufflehead
  • Hooded Merganser

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Environmental Study Area
  • Accessible
  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Parking
  • Restrooms