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“Nice Park for Birdwatching”

Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Reviewed April 15, 2014

I have nothing bad to say about this park, it just wasn't my cup of tea. The main trails are sandy and run along the Potomac and offer nice views, but because there aren't many large trees by the trail, there's not much shade! So you'll want to make sure you lather up the sunscreen, even if it doesn't seem that hot and sunny outside...something about the sandy path and the reflection of the Potomac seems to lead to sunburn! What I will say is that if you are a birdwatcher you've come to the right place. I visited in early April and saw two nesting bald eagles and two nesting osprey. I saw a bunch of other birds, but I'm not sure what kind there were. Another thing to keep in mind is that there were snakes! We ran into a large black one and while I don't think it was poisonous or dangerous, it could be scary for those who are scared of snakes. Because the eagles and osprey are nesting, half the park is closed. However, if you have a decent camera with a good zoom, you should be able to get good pictures of the eagles and osprey from the portion of the park that is open. The main trails are boarded on one side by the Potomac and on the other side by wetlands. It was relatively empty when I visited and seems to be one of the lesser visited parks in the area.

And one last thing! The toilets have no running water and don't exactly smell great, so you may want to go to the bathroom before you leave home!

4  Thank Jisel P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 27, 2014

We visited the Refuge during snow and then returned soon after the snow disappeared. The experience was different each time as not only did the views change but also animals and migrating birds seemed to change with the weather . The Ranger station has child activities and learning opportunities as well as interests for adults as well. The Staff and volunteers are well informed on the Refuge and obviously consider, as we do, the Refuge as a National Treasure.

1  Thank Deborah_L380
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

This is pretty much right in my backyard, so I visit here often. You can walk and walk and walk on most of the trails. Bring your binoculars because some of the birds you can see here are spectacular, from bald eagles to wild turkeys to egrets. There is a partially paved route for bicycles--it's a short trail but worth it. You can drive in and park before heading off toward the bay on foot and there's a long trail that snakes the edge of the bay, worth a long afternoon hike. Stop in at the ranger station if it's open and say hey to the very friendly and knowledgeable volunteers who staff the place on the weekends. They have a nice collection of skins and stuffed birds to see, too and they'll give you a map.

3  Thank denisetheartist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

This refuge offers nice walks through fields, by marsh and by the river all year round. I visit it a couple of times per year. I find that if you're a birder, the spring is especially alive. Osprey, blue birds, fox, turkey, eagles, warblers and chat are found with little or no effort. There's one central parking area with bathrooms available. There's a drive through the refuge, but no other area for parking except towards the front of the park. This park offers a nice alternative to or complement to Mason Neck State Park and Pohick Bay park a few miles north, though you cannot put in boats in this location, the trails are longer and views along the river equally lovely.

2  Thank Imzpickle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2016
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Thank 173MichelS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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