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Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

Mason Neck Loop

Description

The Mason Neck Loop showcases an urban area's outstanding effort to conserve important areas for wildlife. The Washington, D.C.-Alexandria metropolitan area, through proactive planning, has preserved a network of parks that provide invaluable habitat and recreational opportunities for wildlife watchers. Birders can view approximately 300 bird species within a ten minute drive of downtown Washington. This juxtaposition of dense human population and biodiversity is a rare occurrence. The loop begins at the base of I-495, one of our nation's most crowded highways, and extends to the hidden estuarine treasures along the Potomac. Sites like Jones Point and Riverside Parks provide wildlife hotspots that offer food and cover for resident and migratory birds. The loop trail moves slightly inland to the spectacular Huntlry Meadows Park. This bottomland forest is home to species such as barred owl, which require large forests in order to thrive-a difficult proposition in an area surrounded by development. The route returns south along the Potomac River to a string of parks runing from Accotink to Occoquan Bays. These less visited parks offer extensive trails, rich wildlife diversity, and water-based wildlife viewing. Mason Neck's natural oases provide rich wildlife viewing opportunities year-round, With lodging, food, and travel accommodations nearby, the loop easily combines with any trip, business or leisure, to our nation's capital.

Loop Map

Services

Alexandria Chamber of Commerce
703.739.3805
kmoore@alexchamber.com

Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association
703.838.4200
jmitchell@funside.com

Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce
703.749.0400
jgray@fccc.org

Fairfax County Convention & Visitors Bureau
703.790.3329
larrington@fceda.org

Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce
703.360.6925
info@mtvernon-leechamber.org

The Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail Program recommends checking the following Web sites for lodging, restaurants and other service providers:

Virginia Accomodations Virginia Green