Mason Neck State Park (2023)

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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 administrationoffice is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., closed state holidays. The visitor center/gift shop is open Friday - Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The visitor center restrooms and picnic area restrooms are open until the park grounds close.

Kayak and canoe rentals are available when theVisitor Center is open. 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. Rentals end on October 10 and will resume in May 2023.

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.


8 a.m. - dusk.


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.

(Video) Mason Neck State Park SOLO Hike Fairfax Virginia

Park Size

1,856 acres.

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Cabins, camping


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.



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.


There are no designated swimming areas.


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.


None at this park.

Park Trail Guide

Click here for the park's trail guide.

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

Download the geo-referenced map for this park

(Video) Hiking Mason Neck State Park VA Wetlands

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.

(Video) Mason Neck State Park [Virginia Hiking & Photography]

Meeting Space and Facilities


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.


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.


None at this park.


None at this park.


None at this park.


None at this park.

Other Info


  • 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.


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.


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


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.

(Video) Kayaking at Mason Neck State Park

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.


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 or visit
for details.


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

  • 10/16/2022 - Why do leaves change colors in the fall?
  • 10/17/2022 - Little Rangers
  • 10/22/2022 - Park After Dark
  • 10/24/2022 - Little Rangers
  • 10/29/2022 - Roving Ranger on Bay View Trail
  • More events at this park.


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  • 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

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


Can you swim at Masons Neck park? ›

Canoes and kayaks are also available to rent from April through October. Guided canoe trips are a great way to see and learn about Kane's Creek and Belmont Bay. Note that there are no designated swimming areas in the park and there is no standard boat launch.

Are dogs allowed at Mason Neck State Park? ›

If you'd like to bring along your canine companion, feel free to do so. Leashes aren't technically required on the shoreline here, so make sure to use your best judgment when bringing along your pet. Boating is also available in Mason Neck State Park.

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.

Does Lake Anna have a beach? ›

The park has a beach on one of Virginia's most popular lakes, a fishing pond accessible to children and the disabled, a bathhouse-concessions complex and a boat launch.

Are there bears in Pocahontas State Park? ›

area is home to black bears. As a reminder, please review the following tips about hiking safety. If you encounter a bear while hiking: Enjoy the experience from a distance, don't panic.

Is Mason Neck a national park? ›

Visit Us. There are activities year round at Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, including wildlife viewing, photography and hunting.

Can you swim at lake Fairfax? ›

The campground, picnic areas , playground, trails and skatepark are open year-round. Virginia State fishing license is required, and sailboats, gasoline and electric-powered boats and swimming are prohibited in the lake.

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! Please contact the park about swim lessons for your family.

Can you swim in lake accotink? ›

There's a small beach front area by the lake where kids can play in the sand and splash in the water (no swimming allowed). There's a carousel and miniature golf as well as a tour boat ride around the lake (all for a nominal fee).

Do you have to pay to go to Lake Anna? ›

See prices below. False Cape, Natural Bridge, Sailor's Creek Battlefield, Staunton River Battlefield and Southwest Virginia Museum do not charge parking fees.
Boat Launch and Equestrian Fees.
Park NameIn addition to Daily Parking Fee Year-Round Per Trailer
Lake Anna$5 Boat and Equestrian
Leesylvania$10 Boat
28 more rows
25 Apr 2022

Does it cost to get into Lake Anna? ›

​The largest public beach at Lake Anna is inside the Lake Anna State Park. There is a parking fee to enter the park and a $4 swimming charge for everyone aged 13 and up ($3 for ages 3-12).

Can u swim in Lake Anna? ›

WASHINGTON — Lake Anna is a popular summer destination for swimmers, boaters and anglers.

What animals are in Pocahontas State park? ›

Flocks of wild turkey and numerous white-tailed deer can also be seen throughout the park year-round. Nighttime visitors may be fortunate enough to hear owls, and see nocturnal mammals such as raccoon, opossum, and striped skunk.

What can you do at Pocahontas State park? ›

General Information. Just 20 miles from Richmond, Pocahontas offers boating, picnicking, camping, camping cabins, 90-plus miles of trails, and nature and history programs.

Is Pocahontas State park open for camping? ›

Pocahontas State Park Campground is located in the forests of Chesterfield, Virginia. Open from March through December, the campground has over 115 sites. These sites include yurts, cabins and group or individual campsites.

What is the water temperature of Lake Anna? ›

Today. Lake Anna's current water temperature is 66°F.

What town is Lake Anna VA in? ›

Lake Anna
The North Anna Nuclear Generating Station is seen at the center of this aerial photograph.
Lake Anna Show map of Virginia Show map of the United States Show all
LocationLouisa / Spotsylvania / Orange counties, Virginia, US
Coordinates38.023889°N 77.716942°W
6 more rows

What is the deepest part of Lake Anna? ›

Does Lake Anna have tides? ›

High tides occur 12 hours and 25 minutes apart. It takes six hours and 12.5 minutes for the water at the shore to go from high to low, or from low to high.


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