Change to Refuge Hours

Starting October 1, 2023 the refuge will be open from 7am-5pm.

Eighteen miles south of Washington D.C., on the banks of the Potomac River, lies a peninsula known as Mason Neck. Here, on February 1, 1969, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service created the first national wildlife refuge established specifically for the protection of our nation’s symbol, the bald eagle.

Visit Us

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

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Learn more about our mission, purpose and history on our About Us page.

      What We Do

      Learn about our management practices, comprehensive conservation planning, research projects, and more on the What We Do page.

      Our Species

      The diverse habitats of Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge host over 211 bird species, more than 200 plant species, 31 mammal species, and 40 species of reptiles and amphibians. Visit our Species page to learn more about the inhabitants of Mason Neck! 

      Bald eagle up close with wing raised

      A large raptor, the bald eagle has a wingspread of about seven feet. Adults have a dark brown body and wings, white head and tail, and a yellow beak. Juveniles are mostly brown with white mottling on the body, tail, and undersides of wings. Adult plumage usually is obtained by the sixth year. In...

      FWS Focus

      Get Involved

      Interested in getting involved with what we do at Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge? Visit the link below to learn more.

      Projects and Research

      Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge focuses management efforts on the protection of habitat and nesting sites for bald eagles, herons, and other avian species. Current practices are mostly passive, utilizing the natural processes within the hardwood forest to maintain desired habitat.