Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Seasons: All
- Site Contact: (703) 490-4979 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Site Access: Free, Daily
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Site CMN07: Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge
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.
From Pohick Bay Regional Park, return to SR 242/Gunston Road, turn left, and drive 1.1 miles to High Point Road. Continue 1.5 miles on Gunston Road to Great Marsh Trail (handicap accessible) or turn right onto High Point Road and drive 0.7 miles to the Woodmarsh Trail of the Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge.