In 1965, the Mason Neck Conservation Committee was formed after two bald eagle nests were spotted at Mason Neck. The committee, concerned about impending development on the peninsula, recommended part of the area to be used as a site for a state park. In August 1967 the state, with the aid of matching federal grants, began buying land parcels from private landowners and the Nature Conservancy. A series of events threatened the sanctity of Mason Neck in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Mason Neck State Park is a gem among Virginia’s fine state parks. The nature center, which provides information about natural history and the park’s trails and wildlife, has been wonderfully landscaped with butterfly gardens. During summer months, butterflies and dragonflies may outnumber visitors.
Mason Neck State Park is managed for the protection and preservation of habitat for the American Bald Eagle and other wildlife on the 'Neck', environmental education, and for passive recreation. The park includes a wide variety of environmental habitats that support many types of animals including bald eagles, hawks, white tailed deer, fox, beaver, other mammals, and over 200 species of birds and water fowl.
We visited Mason Neck State Park on a weekday and found it to be the best time to visit to avoid crowds, especially during the Covid-19 Pandemic. We chose to walk the Great Marsh Trail and Elizabeth Hartwell National Wildlife Refuge Trail as we had during an earlier visit the Bay View Trail.
Mason Neck State Park is located on a peninsula formed by Pohick Bay, Belmont Bay and the Potomac River. In addition to being an active heron rookery, the park attracts several other migrating and non-migrating species of birds, including whistling swans and several species of duck.
Mason Neck State Park is located in Fairfax County, Virginia. The park is on a peninsula formed by Pohick Bay on the north, Belmont Bay on the south and the Potomac River 2) and is home to bald eagles, great blue herons, ospreys, and many other types of wildlife. The park also contains white-tailed deer and many species of lichen. Mason Neck State Park is one of the best locations to view bald eagles in northern Virginia. Sightings are most common in the mornings and evenings.
Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge focuses management efforts on the protection of habitat and nesting sites for bald eagles, herons, and other avian species. Current practices are mostly passive, utilizing the natural processes within the hardwood forest to maintain desired habitat.
Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, in cooperation with the Mason Neck State Park, hosts an annual white-tailed deer hunt to manage the deer population on the site. The hunter success rate, coupled with the overall popularity of the large-scale hunt within Northern Virginia, is a huge factor in drawing hunters back each year.
Know Before You Go. A non-refundable $5 per transaction fee is charged for overnight site rentals. The fee is directly tied to expenses that support overall facility rentals — credit card fees, 800 number fees, and overnight inventory and reservation system vendor fees. It is charged per reservation and for walk-in stays. Here are fees for Breaks Interstate Park.
Mason Neck State Park is made up of wetlands, forest, open water, open fields and pond, making it a great place to hike, watch wildlife (especially bald eagles!) have a picnic with your friends and family, canoe, kayak or take a bike ride. Entrance fee per passenger vehicle.