Plan Your Visit

Tufted titmouse - Cindy Kreticos.

Maps and Handouts


Hours of Operation

Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge is open year-round, including federal holidays, from 7AM - 5PM October 1- March 31 and 7AM-7PM from April 1 - September 30. Staff temporarily closes the refuge during managed deer hunts in November and December. Call the headquarters office or check this website for scheduled closures. 


Know Before You Go

  • Summer - Hot and humid. Drink fluids and use sunscreen while engaging in refuge activities.
  • Spring and Fall - Mild and pleasant.
  • Winter - mild with occasional cold, blustery winds across meadows and off the river.
  • Biting Insects - Use repellent when hiking during from April to October to deter mosquitoes, and biting flies.
  • Ticks - Avoid walking through tall grasses and stay on trails. Ticks may transmit disease; visitors are encouraged to check for ticks following a visit.
  • Poison Ivy - All parts of the three leafed plant may result in skin rashes
  • Northern Copperhead - To avoid the venomous snake, stay out of high grass and watch your step on trails.

Points of Interest

On February 1, 1969, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service created the first national wildlife refuge specifically established for the then endangered bald eagle. This 2,227 acre refuge encompasses approximately 2,000 acres of mature hardwood forest, the largest freshwater marsh in northern Virginia, and nearly six miles of shoreline. Because of its unique blend of habitat, Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge supports a diverse mixture of wildlife throughout the year. Whatever your reason for coming, the refuge is a place to learn about nature and the history of man’s use of the land on the Neck. Our desire for each visitor is that they connect with nature in a meaningful way.