Mason Neck State Park and Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Lorton, VA

About the Trip

Well, the weather was fabulous. The scenery? Didn’t really match the weather……very brown for the most part, but we saw some green that was starting to peek through. Mason Neck State Park and Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge are about 20 miles south of Washington, DC. Who knew?! Did you?! Our main goal was to do some hiking and see some wildlife. If you click on the wildlife refuge link, it lists the hundreds of species of wildlife that can be seen on the grounds. We didn’t entirely strike out on our scouting expedition as we did see a fair number of birds, so if you like bird-watching, this is a must-go-to place. This is what we saw:

• Heron
• 1 other bird that we’re going to go out on a limb and call the Tufted Titmouse just for the heck of it though we have no idea what bird this really is. (that is a real bird’s name)
• 1 Hawk
• 3 Bald Eagles
• Seagulls

We started off at the State Park and hiked the Kanes Creek Trail–>Eagle Spur Trail (which leads to the bird blind…we think this is where you can see eagles, but we only saw the heron and some people canoeing and fishing ) and then we hiked back to our starting point and then walked along the Beach Trail. We then drove to the refuge, which is located on the same road and hiked to a pavilion that has a spotting scope. We saw the eagles from afar with the spotting scope. They were a good half of a mile away, but we certainly did see them and they were beautiful.

The state park/refuge is fantastic if you are looking for solitude and the terrain is pretty flat and the trails are well-maintained too. The park was pretty empty when we arrived at around 1:00 pm. (We got off to a late start thanks to Daylight Saving Time.) Dave was sure the park would be JP (jam-packed, the kid loves to abbrev. everything. ;) but to his surprise it wasn’t.



  • Panasonic DMC-FZ8
  • 1 Camelbak
  • Layered clothing
  • Hiking boots
  • PBJ
  • Trail Mix
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats



We’d like to go back early in the morning so that we can catch a glimpse of the eagles feeding. We’ve also been thinking that we may need to invest in a good pair of binoculars. Any suggestions?

Show me the dough

Fuel Cost=~$2.50
Park Fee= $4.00