Visitor Activities

Kids on dock - Prince William County Schools.
  • Walking and Wildlife Viewing

    Children walking on a trail - Kay Defonde.

    A network of roads from the site’s military days forms the basis for trails and a wildlife drive. Approximately 4 miles of gravel roads are reserved for foot traffic only. Snow shoes and cross-country skis are allowed on these roads during snow events. The refuge also offers a 2-mile loop serving as a one way auto tour route. Vehicles can serve as mobile blinds, allowing visitors closer views to habitat and wildlife. We ask that all drivers and passengers remain in their vehicles while on wildlife drive. Public use rotates among the trails to permit a variety of wildlife observations while minimizing stress on nesting, migrating wildlife and to facilitate land management.

    Occoquan Bay Bird List (pdf - 7.5MB)

  • Photography

    Photographer in a photo blind - USFWS.

    Wildlife photography is an increasingly popular activity on Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Search for grassland dwelling songbirds along our hiking trails in the spring and summer or walk Deephole point road to catch a glimpse of waterfowl floating in rafts along the Potomac River. Visit the refuge’s photo blind situated on Marumsco Creek or the observation platform at the intersection of Fox and Deephole Point Roads. Photography opportunities are boundless along all refuge roads and trails open to the public.

  • Hunting

    Hunter in tree stand - USFWS.

    Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge hosts a white-tailed deer hunt program to manage the deer population. Click for Deer Hunt Program Information

  • Interpretation

    Event at Occoquan Bay Refuge - USFWS.

    Use our interpretative kiosks and information booths to choose a refuge trail or route to explore. Interpretive sites include a kiosk site outside the gate, the Main Parking Lot Pavilion featuring 6 interpretive panels, an interpretive trail featuring 10 small signs developed by the Friends of the Potomac River Refuges, and several locations scattered throughout the refuge discussing topics such as butterflies, the marsh-beaver lodge, the Harry Diamond Laboratory, birds, bird banding, and habitat management.

  • Environmental Education

    Environmental education on the refuge - Prince William County Schools.

    The refuge features several environmental education sites including two outdoor pavilions, a 2.7 acre pond with a dock and ramp, and a floating boardwalk in a freshwater marsh (only for educational groups). Environmental education activities are primarily self-guided field trips exploring topics prepared by the teacher. Educators may arrange appointments with staff to tour the refuge and prepare for a field trip. Field study equipment is available for loan. Interested educational groups or institutions are required to obtain a Special Use Permit to gain refuge access for their program. Fees may be waived for education programs.

  • Auto Tour

    Wildlife Drive Sign

    Tour the refuge by car along Wildlife Drive. This short 1 mile gravel route allows visitors to travel through the refuge by vehicle or by bicycle. Keep an eye out for beavers and waterfowl as you cross the culverts in the wetland area. Wildlife drive periodically closes for nesting bald eagles and flooding.