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Mason Neck State Park

One of the best places in Virginia to see Bald Eagles, Mason Neck State Park provides a great opportunity to observe wildlife and take a quiet walk in the woods. The park is a less traveled alternative to other Northern Virginia Parks and is suitable for pets and families. The trails are well maintained and marked, thus it is easy to navigate the park.
Distance: 
5.5mi
Difficulty: 
Easy
Scenery: 
Fair
Photo Op: 
If you are lucky, you will be able to get some shots of Bald Eagles at the Bird Blind. A good zoom lens will probably be necessary.
Location: 
Mason Neck State Park Mount Vernon, VA
Metro Accessible: 
No
Additional Directions: 
The park is about 25 miles southwest of downtown DC. The directions using Google Maps are straightforward.
What to Bring: 
Water and a snack. The park costs $4 for entry. The trail map. You can also get unmarked copies of the map at the kiosk where you pay for entry into the park.
Food Options: 
The park has grills and picnic tables, as well as many open spaces also suitable for a picnic. There are some snack options in the Visitor Center.
Additional Information: 

While the Bald Eagles will certainly be an attraction for some, the relative tranquility of this park is what we like most. On a beautiful day during peak season for foliage, we saw maybe fifteen people the whole day. The gentle nature of the trails makes them appropriate for families and pets. The Eagle Spur Trail has a few hills, but nothing too bad. Three of the trails are labeled as handicapped accessible. As always see the park website before visiting, as there can be trail closings and safety warnings.

The trails are very well marked, so feel free to improvise. We highly suggest the Bayview and Eagle Spur Trails for scenery.

It is worth a quick note that it is also possible to picnic, fish, canoe, kayak, or bike in the park. Bike, canoe, and kayak rentals are available. For more details on these activities see the park website.

To begin, park near the Visitor Center and make your way to the Bay. Make a left on the Bayview Trail and follow it along the Bay. Eventually the trail turns inland. About 0.5mi into the hike you will make a right on the Wilson Spring Trail. About 1.15 miles into the hike you will make a right on the Dogue Trail. The Dogue Trail is a simple loop and about a mile in length. If you are short on time, skip it.

After completing the Dogue Loop, get back on the Wilson Spring Trail for a short stretch and follow signs for the Eagle Spur Trail. Take the Eagle Spur Trail out to the Bird Blind for your best chance to see a Bald Eagle. Even if you don't get to see a Bald Eagle, the hike is worth it. You will get a nice view of Kane's Creek and in Fall, the foliage is very pretty.

Make your way back along the Eagle Spur Trail. Eventually you will make it to signs for the Kane's Creek Trail. You can go left or right, the trail will eventually get you back to the parking lot. Follow the signs.

Disclaimer: 
Environmental conditions in cities, parks, etc. can change rapidly and without our knowledge. We do not make any claims as to the accuracy of information presented on this page. Further, hiking can be a dangerous activity that may result in bodily harm and possibly death. We hope the information that we provide will help you prepare for your hike, but do not imply that the information provided is complete. It is your responsibility to prepare yourself for whatever challenges you may face. If you decide to use any of the information on this page, you do so at your own risk.
Images: 
View of Belmont Bay from the Bayview Trail at Mason Neck State Park.
Bayview Trail, Mason Neck State Park.
Trail Marker, Mason Neck State Park.
Trail Post, Mason Neck State Park.
Eagle Spur Trail, Mason Neck State Park
Bird Blind, Mason Neck State Park
Kane's Creek Trail, Mason Neck State Park

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