Eighteen miles south of Washington, D.C., on the banks of the Potomac River, lies a 2,277-acre parcel of land on the Mason Neck peninsula. Here on February 1, 1969, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service created the first national wildlife refuge specifically established for the bald eagle. The refuges' hardwood forests and marshes attract songbirds, raptors, and waterfowl that depend on forests and open water for their food, nesting sites, and a place to rest. Visitors share this feeling of respite as they hike trails and watch wildlife attracted to the wooded refuge, an oasis in an urban setting.