Picturesque Mason Neck State Park lies in Southern Fairfax County about 20 miles from Washington, DC.
This Northern Virginia public recreation area forms a 1,856 acre peninsula along the Potomac River, Pohick Bay and Belmont Bay.
The Virginia park offers visitors a chance to boat, fish, hike and observe wildlife in its natural habitat.
Since the late 1960s this area has been protected by local groups such as the Mason Neck Conservation Committee and the Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge.
This pretty area along the river and bays is ideal for environmental study and wildlife observation. It’s also a great place to escape for a relaxing day of fishing, boating and exploring trails across the wetlands and through the thick forest.
The park has a large picnic area, playground and one large picnic shelter. The visitor center has a gift shop, exhibit room and a meeting room that can seat up to 30 people. You can purchase snacks and ice cream as well as souvenirs at the gift shop.
The view of Belmont Bay from the visitor center is spectacular and worth checking out. Many of the park’s programs and events start at this location. Check to see what exciting programs are being offered by the park rangers during your visit.
Here are some of the activities that you can do during your visit to Mason Neck State Park:
Boating at Mason Neck State Park
Mason Neck State Park is a popular place to kayak or canoe since it is surrounded by water on 3 sides. Guided canoe trips through Kane’s Creek and Belmont Bay are offered seasonally.
Kayak and canoe rentals are available between April and October and the park has a car-top canoe launch directly on the water.
Fishing at Mason Neck State Park
Freshwater fishing and brackish fishing are popular within the park. The Potomac River has a diverse range of fish species and you may catch smallmouth bass, striped bass, shad, white perch or other freshwater fish during your visit to the park.
Remember to pick up a Virginia or Maryland fishing license ahead of time.
Trails at Mason Neck State Park
There are more than 6 miles of hiking trails and 3 miles of paved multi-use trails within Mason Neck State Park. Bike rentals are also available (seasonally).
The trails spread throughout the park’s woodlands, wildflower fields and wetlands. And an elevated boardwalk crosses over the marsh areas within the park, offering a closer look at nature and the wildlife living inside.
Here are a couple of popular trails at Mason Neck State Park:
- Eagle Spur, Dogue and Bayview Trail – A moderate 4.8 mile trail through a mostly flat wooded area with great views of the water. There are a few bird blinds near Eagle Spur Lookout that overlook the water and offer a glimpse of various species in their natural habitat.
- Woodmarsh Trail – An easy 2.7 mile trail that features a bald eagle nesting site. This path begins at the parking lot off of High Point Road and goes through the oak and beech forest, across low bridges and onto the Great Marsh. Trail guides are available at the trailhead.
- Marsh View Trail – An easy .5 mile gravel trail from the parking lot to the overlook, with views of the marsh along the way.
Wildlife Viewing at Mason Neck State Park
Mason Neck State Park provides a sanctuary and safe riverfront home for many species including bald eagles, ospreys and the great blue heron.
Butterflies and dragonflies are a common sight across the fields during the spring and summer and so is the bright red plumage of Virginia’s state bird, the cardinal.
Squirrels, deer, rabbits, snakes and salamanders are also easily spotted, along the trails and riverside.
Pets at Mason Neck State Park
Pets are allowed inside the park but must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet or in an enclosed area. Please clean up after your pet and do not leave them unattended at any time.
Lodging Near Mason Neck State Park
Mason Neck State Park doesn’t have overnight accommodations at this time, but there are many places nearby that do. Visit the park during the day and stay in a local campground, cabin, all inclusive hotel or cozy b & b.
Here are a few different options for you to choose from:
Pohick Bay Regional Park – 6501 Pohick Bay Drive, Lorton
This family park and campground is only 3 miles from Mason Neck State Park. They have cabins, camping, a waterpark and mini-golf. Shaded tent-only and electric/water sites are available at the campground.
Prince William Forest RV Campground – 16058 Dumfries Rd
Triangle Full hookup campsites, hot showers, laundry facilities, playground and a pool are offered here only 28 minutes south of Mason Neck State Park.
Burke Lake Park– 7315 Ox Rd, Fairfax Station
This seasonal campground has 100 tent-only wooded sites with no electric or water connections. They also have a lake, trails, mini-golf and a carousel.
Quality Inn – 1109 Horner Rd, Woodbridge
Comfortable hotel rooms with king or queen sized beds and a large outdoor pool only 3 miles from the park.
Strafford House (B & B) – 3746 Chain Bridge Rd, Fairfax
Cozy bed & breakfast close to shopping and restaurants just 20 miles from Mason Neck State Park. Rooms have a private sauna, jacuzzi or claw foot tub. Enjoy breakfast in bed before heading out to explore the trails.
The George of Old Town (B & B) – 506 Cameron St, Alexandria
Beautiful, fully renovated, historic home of George Washington in Old Town Alexandria just 40 minutes north of the park. This 6,000 square foot townhouse sleeps 20 in one and two-bedroom suites. Rent one room or the entire place.
Attractions Near Mason Neck State Park
Here are a couple nearby attractions that are worth a visit while you are in the area:
- Pohick Bay Regional Park – 6501 Pohick Bay Drive Pirate’s Cove Water Park @ Pohick Bay Regional Park
- Elizabeth Hartwell National Wildlife Refuge – High Point, Lorton Gunston Hall – 10709 Gunston Hall, Mason Neck
Mason Neck State Park
7301 High Point Rd
Lorton, VA 22079
Open Daily 8am to Dusk
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Mason Neck State Park: