Mason Neck State Park (2022)

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This content takes priority over any other information provided on this park's webpage.

Park hours are 8 a.m. to dusk. The park administration office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., closed state holidays. The visitor center/gift shop is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On weekends the visitor center is open until 6 p.m. The visitor center and picnic area restrooms are open until the park grounds close.

Kayak and canoe rentals are available daily, excluding Tuesday. All rental equipment must be returned one hour prior to the visitor center closing. Reservations can be made by calling the park and are highly recommended.

General Information

Just a short drive from Washington, D.C., this Northern Virginia park offers many outdoor activities and programs. It has hiking trails, 3 miles of paved multi-use trails, a large picnic area, a playground, a car-top canoe launch and a visitor center. Canoe, kayak and bicycle rentals are also available. Bird watching, especially for American bald eagles, and guided canoe trips of Kane's Creek and Belmont Bay are favorites with park visitors. The park's wetlands, forest, open water, ponds and open fields make it ideal for environmental study and wildlife observation. Nearby attractions include the Elizabeth Hartwell National Wildlife Refuge, Gunston Hall and Pohick Bay Regional Park.

Hours

8 a.m. - dusk.

Location

The park is in southern Fairfax County, about 20 miles from Washington, D.C. Access to the park is via U.S. 1, then five miles east on Route 242 (Gunston Road) to the park entrance.

Its address is 7301 High Point Road, Lorton, VA 22079-4010; Latitude, 38.654365. Longitude, -77.184114.

Drive Time: Northern Virginia, half an hour (park is in Northern Virginia); Washington, D.C., 45 minutes; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, three hours; Richmond, one and a half hours; Roanoke, four hours.

Park Size

1,856 acres.

(Video) Mason Neck State Park Hike Fairfax Virginia

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Cabins, camping

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES

None - day-use park. For information on the availability of other parks' overnight accommodations, particular park amenities or to make a reservation, you can reserve online or call 1-800-933-PARK. Click here for park fees.

Although Mason Neck has no overnight facilities, you can learn about other parks' rental rates for cabins and camping. Rental rates for cabins and camping vary by season, offering and park. Rates are subject to verification by DCR's state parks reservations staff (1-800-933-PARK). First determine the season, which varies by park, then the rate. Click here for park fees.

Recreation

TRAILS

Hiking, biking and self-guided trails. More than six miles of unpaved hiking trails and three miles of paved multi-use trails wind through the park providing a glimpse of nature by the bay. Elevated walkways allow visitors to explore some of the marsh areas in the park.

SWIMMING

There are no designated swimming areas.

FISHING, BOATING

Fresh and brackish water fishing are available. Must have a valid Virginia or Maryland fishing license. Car-top boat launch facilities available; no facilities for trailer launching. From April through October, rent a kayak or canoe for an hour or all day to explore Belmont Bay or Kane's Creek. It's a great way to see eagles. Here's the rental agreement with rates.

HORSES

None at this park.

Park Trail Guide

Click here for the park's trail guide.

(Video) Hiking Mason Neck State Park VA Wetlands

Download (external link for use with Avenza App) the geo-referenced map

Download the geo-referenced map for this park

Nearby Attractions

Use this interactive map, complete with photos and locations, to find things to do near Mason Neck State Park.Also, Gunston Hall, Mount Vernon, Pohick Bay Regional Park, Woodlawn Plantation, the Bureau of Land Managment Meadowood Special Recreation Area, to name a few.

Picnic Shelters

One shelter is available for rent through the Reservations Center at 1-800-933-7275 (PARK). Parking fees are not included in shelter rental. Click here for park fees. The shelter can be rented from 8 a.m. to dusk (all day).

Cancellation policy: No refund within 14 days before reserved date. Before then, there's a nominal cancellation fee.

Amenities: Visitors wishing to pre-pay a group's parking fee should call the park beforehand. Some activities require a special use permit, which can take up to 30 days to receive. The park is open daily 8 a.m. to sunset; there are no designated swimming areas.

Shelter 1 Tent Shelter. This shelter, which has a vinyl tent cover, is available for reservations May through October. The area, without the tent set up, is available at a reduced rate from November through April. When not reserved, it's available first-come, first-served.

The universally accessible shelter is a 40 x 20 foot framed tent. There are no holes in the center, and the sides are open. The floor is gravel. There are eight picnic tables and two pedestal charcoal grills. It seats 50 people at one time. Groups of more than 50 but fewer than 100 people can use the site (although shelter rental does not guarantee sole usage of the area open to the general public). Erecting additional tents is not permitted. Additional tables and grills are not allowed. Parking space is adequate, but it may be necessary on busy weekends to offload supplies and park elsewhere in the park, still within walking distance. The shelter is near a general picnicking area that the general public uses. Restrooms are about 60 feet away. There are no electric outlets or water hydrants.

Meeting Space and Facilities

MEETING FACILIITIES

Explorers Hall in the visitor center accommodates up to 30 people for meetings and educational sessions. It can be configured various ways to suit your group's needs. Audiovisual equipment is available, or bring your own. Contact the park for more information and to rent the hall for your next meeting.

VISITOR CENTER, GIFT SHOP

The park's visitor center was expanded to include a new exhibit room, gift shop and meeting room. There are several exhibits in the center, and the view of Belmont Bay is breathtaking. The gift shop offers park-oriented merchandise and souvenirs and some snacks. Visitor center staff can answer questions and provide information on park trails, facilities and local points of interest. Many programs originate or take place at the visitor center. Check the schedule here to see what’s happening at Mason Neck that day.

RESTAURANT

None at this park.

LAUNDRY

None at this park.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER

None at this park.

SPECIAL FEATURES

None at this park.

(Video) 4k Virtual Morning Hike with dog | Mason Neck State Park, Virginia | Binaural Sound

Other Info

ACCESSIBILITY:

  • Picnic area: There is a universally accessible restroom facility in the picnic area with a 6-foot wide cement walkway leading to it and one accessible picnic table.
  • Playground is fully accessible.
  • Visitor center and park office: Both are fully accessible, each with a 6-foot wide walkway leading to the entrance. There are six universally accessible parking spaces.
  • Trails: A fully accessible paved hiking trail, the Beach Trail, has breathtaking views of Belmont Bay. The trail is about 300 yards long and ends at an accessible observation platform overlooking the bay. The Dogue Trail has a hard-packed dust surface and is about .8 miles long. It meanders through the forest and offers a cool and relaxing outing. It is accessed from the paved Wilson Spring Trail parking lot. The quarter-mile Marsh View Trail is stone-packed and ends at an elevated platform that overlooks the upper marshes of Kane's Creek. The 3-mile paved High Point Road Multi-use Trail parallels the park road.
  • Although motorized vehicles are not permitted on park trails, electric wheelchairs and electric scooters that meet the federal definition for wheelchairs are allowed to enable people with disabilities to use the trails.

NATURE, HISTORY PROGRAMS

Pond study, bird watching, nature walks and talks, and GPS adventures are just a few of the exciting programs offered by park rangers throughout the year. There is always something new to experience or participate in at the park. Click here to view all parks' events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.

CONCESSIONS

The visitor center sells snacks and ice cream. Drink vending machines are behind the visitor center and at the picnic shelter.

HISTORY

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. After plans for a proposed beltway through the area were dropped in 1967, an airport, a natural gas pipeline, a landfill and a sewer line were proposed for the area. These proposals met strong opposition from groups such as the Mason Neck Conservation Committee. Plans for the projects were dropped because of the potential negative impact each had on the federally operated Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge and Mason Neck State Park. Mason Neck State Park opened to the public in April 1985.

(Video) Hiking in Style at Mason Neck State Park in Virginia

FRIENDS GROUP

The Friends of Mason Neck State Park group works to conserve, enhance and interpret the park’s natural, educational, recreational and cultural resources. The group sponsors picnics, kayak trips, show-and-tell programs, volunteer activities and other special events. Email geninfo@masonneckstateparkfriends.org or visit www.masonneckstateparkfriends.org
for details.

MASTER PLAN

Master plans must be written for parks before they're built. The plans are updated at least once every 10 years thereafter. The plans cover the size, types, infrastructure and locations of facilities as well as the site's special features and resources. Three public meetings are held during the initial development of each plan. Click here for this park's master plan.

Events, Programs

  • 09/03/2022 - Frogs Vs. Toads
  • 09/03/2022 - Leave It to Beavers
  • 09/04/2022 - Feather Mania
  • 09/04/2022 - Snakes 101
  • 09/09/2022 - Twilight Paddle Adventures
  • More events at this park.

Blogs

  • Count Birds for Science: The Great Backyard Bird Count
  • 7 Perfectly Delightful Ideas for Midweek Fun
  • 4 Beautiful Parks for Day Hikes in Northern Virginia
  • These Eight Reasons to Go Outside Will Put a Spring in Your Step
  • Magnificent Moths of Mason Neck
  • More blogs about this park.

At a Glance

The pictographs directly below show park offerings. Mouse-over the image for a short text description or view a legend in which each pictograph's meaning is expressed.

Mason Neck State Park (10)Mason Neck State Park (11)Mason Neck State Park (12)Mason Neck State Park (13)Mason Neck State Park (14)Mason Neck State Park (15)Mason Neck State Park (16)Mason Neck State Park (17)Mason Neck State Park (18)Mason Neck State Park (19)Mason Neck State Park (20)Mason Neck State Park (21)

Biking, Boat Launch, Boat Rentals, Canoe Access, Camp Store/Gift Shop, Environmental Education Center, Nature/Cultural Programs, Visitor Center, Hiking, Parking fee, Picnic Shelter Rentals, Picnic Tables, Playgrounds, Restrooms, Shore, Universally Accessible

FAQs

Can you swim at Mason Neck park? ›

2 answers. There is no swimming beach or water play area at Mason Neck State Park but a regional park with swimming is nearby. We only have a canoe top launch and not designed for a jet ski launch. The park and the bay access around the park is very quiet for eagle habitat so not well suited for jet skis either.

Are dogs allowed at Mason Neck State Park? ›

Pets must be attended at all times. aerial vehicles, including remote control aircraft, and aircraft in general may not be flown in state parks pursuant to 4VAC5-30-400. litter and recyclables in the proper receptacles and recycle centers or carrying out your trash.

Where is Mason Neck park? ›

Location. The park is in southern Fairfax County, about 20 miles from Washington, D.C. Access to the park is via U.S. 1, then five miles east on Route 242 (Gunston Road) to the park entrance. Its address is 7301 High Point Road, Lorton, VA 22079-4010; Latitude, 38.654365. Longitude, -77.184114.

Can you swim in Pohick Bay? ›

In addition to water activities the park also offers family and group camping, hiking, picnic areas and a large play area for children. For those of you interested in swimming, we offer one of the largest, outdoor freeform pools on the east coast!

Is Pohick Bay Park free? ›

Paddle Tours

Join us for an exciting adventure on the water of Pohick Bay, a tributary of the historic Potomac River. Explore one of the area's finest wildlife habitats while enjoying views of bald eagles, great blue herons, ospreys, fish and other wildlife. No experience necessary! Cost: $30 per person.

Is it safe to kayak in the Potomac? ›

Safety. The Potomac River has a number of white-water rapid spots and can get pretty choppy, so it's best to gauge your level of experience before placing your kayak in the water. If you are a beginner, you should also either enroll in a course or at least have cursory instruction from wherever you rent your kayak.

Is Colonial beach safe to swim in? ›

Katrina's Reply: Yes, swimming at the beach is permitted. Enjoy your visit and don't hesitate to call if you have other questions 804-214-6880.

Are dogs allowed on trails in Oregon state parks? ›

Oregon State Parks – Pet Policy

Most Oregon state parks and campgrounds welcome pets on leash up to six feet long. Pets cannot go in Dabney State Recreation Area, or on the Canyon Trail or connecting Winter Trail, Maple Ridge Trail and Twin Falls trails at Silver Falls State Park.

Are dogs allowed at Oregon State Parks? ›

Yes. Dogs and other domestic animals are allowed in all parks except Dabney State Recreation Area in the Gorge or on the Canyon Trail at Silver Falls State Park. Pets must be physically restrained, meaning you must be holding them, holding onto their collar, or have them on a leash no longer than six feet.

Can you take dogs to New River Gorge? ›

Pets are allowed on all trails at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. The regulations that cover pets and their owners have been carefully developed to allow you to share your park experience with your pet while still protecting the native animals and other park resources, as well as other visitors.

Are dogs allowed in West Virginia state parks? ›

Dogs and cats are the only pets permitted in state parks and forests. Pets must be current on vaccinations and in good health.

Is it illegal to have your dog off-leash in Oregon? ›

Owners must carry a leash and always be in control of their dogs, on-leash or off-leash. Owners must control their dog's aggressive behavior or excessive barking; owners are liable for damage or injury inflicted by their dog.

Can dogs be off-leash on Oregon beaches? ›

Generally, yes. Pets are welcome on most ocean beaches, however they must be leashed if you are within the boundaries of a state park and a leash carried with you at all times on the beach. Beyond those areas, leashes are not required although they must be under direct control (within sight and responsive to commands).

Is there a leash law for dogs in Oregon? ›

You must carry a leash for each dog in your care, and keep pets leashed on the way to and from off-leash areas. At unfenced off-leash areas, boundary maps are posted. Familiarize yourself with the boundaries, and play with pets within the designated area only.

Can you conceal carry in Oregon State Parks? ›

Can I Carry In Oregon State Parks? Yes. Unless otherwise noted, you can carry a firearm in Oregon state parks. Keep in mind however that recreational shooting or target shooting may be prohibited, and carrying a firearm may only be allowed for personal protection in the event of threat to you or another person.

What is the largest state park in Oregon? ›

At more than 9,000 acres, Silver Falls is Oregon's largest state park, so you might assume there is plenty of room for people to spread out.

Can you open carry in Oregon State Parks? ›

State parks and forests: You can open carry in parks and forest areas of the state, as well as wildlife management areas. Places of worship: Oregon gun laws do not restrict the possession of firearms in places of worship. But you cannot open carry if there is a post prohibiting the possession of firearms in the state.

Can you walk across New River Gorge Bridge? ›

The Bridge Walk guests walk the entire 3,030 foot length of the Bridge and then are shuttled back to the Bridge Walk headquarters. Bridge tours move along at a leisurely pace and there is plenty of time to stop for photos, and to discuss features of the Bridge, New River Gorge and National Park with your guide.

Can I take my dog to Red River Gorge? ›

Dogs are allowed on the trails in the Red River Gorge, but you must have control of your dog at all times.

Can you bring dogs to Dolly Sods? ›

Dogs are welcome but must be leashed. With little elevation and limited hiking hazards, this Dolly Sods hike is great for families.

Are Blackwater Falls cabins pet friendly? ›

Blackwater Falls Cabins

Whichever area you choose to stay in, you won't be far from the fun. And if you enjoy traveling with your animal companion, Blackwater Falls State Park even has 10 pet-friendly cabins. Cabins are available year-round. Check in begins at 4 p.m., and check out is by 10 a.m. for all cabins.

Can dogs go to Starved Rock? ›

Dogs are welcome on the outdoor Veranda – A “doggy menu” is available. Dogs are welcome on all trails and on Guided Hikes promoted by the Lodge but must be leashed at all times (see below).

Are dogs allowed at Blackwater Falls WV? ›

Both dogs and cats are welcome. Quiet, well-behaved pets may be left in guest rooms unattended.

Videos

1. Mason Neck State Park, Virginia
(parkvisitorvideos)
2. Mason Neck State Park - Day Hike
(Inside The Park With Emily and Ben)
3. Kayaking at Mason Neck State Park
(Stew Grand Outdoors)
4. Day-use State Parks in Virginia
(DCRVirginia)
5. Mason Neck State Park USA 🇺🇸 Walking tour เมสันเนค สเตสพาร์ค รัฐเวอร์จิเนีย สหรัฐอเมริกา 🇺🇸
(COCO LifestyleUSA)
6. Mason Neck State Park
(Fairfax County's 275th Anniversary)

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