Paddle/Hike Combo! Paddle to the Largest Heron Rookery Plus Mason Neck Hike! June 8 2019

Paddle/Hike Combo! Paddle to the Largest Heron Rookery Plus Mason Neck Hike! June 8 2019

Community Events

Updated on Apr 19, 2019

Paddle/Hike Combo! Paddle to the Largest Heron Rookery Plus Mason Neck Hike!

What Paddle/Hike Combo! Paddle to the Largest Heron Rookery Plus Mason Neck Hike!
When Saturday, June 8, 2019
10:00 AM to 03:00 PM
By Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group (aka Outdoors for Health)
Where Paddle Trip! Heron Rookery Kayak and Mason Neck Hike with Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group
Directions: Click the link under “Directions to the Launch” located near the end of the event listing.
, VA
Located in LORTON, VA

Let's Paddle to the Largest Heron Rookery on the East Coast and Then Enjoy an Optional Easy Post Paddle Hike in Mason Neck to Check out The Bald Eagles (A Fundraiser Paddle Event)!

Appropriate for Strong Novices and Experienced Paddlers and Newbie Hikers!

Pohick Bay Regional Park is just 20 miles south of Washington, D.C.

The Mason Neck peninsula is a tranquil island of relative wilderness adrift in a sea of urban sprawl. Most of the land on the peninsula is either federal, state, or county parkland, and a substantial portion of the surrounding area is mostly undeveloped. The boot-shaped peninsula is home to Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge and Mason Neck State Park, which were set aside to protect bald eagle habitat, as well as Pohick Bay Regional Park, another area popular with eagles. Eagles are not the only wildlife you will find here; in fact, Mason Neck is a veritable hot spot for some many species including tundra swans, great blue herons, seagulls, osprey, mergansers-the list goes on.

How Do I Reserve a Boat if I Do Not Own One?

You do not have to own your own boat for this paddle because our group and Pohick Bay both rent boats. For more information about rentals at Pohick, see the following paragraph for special arrangements made for our group. While it is significantly less expensive to rent from our group, we run out of boats fast so reservation must be made early. Here is information on how to rent from both places.

Renting From The Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group

We Have 3 Sit On Tops (SOT) Kayaks to Rent on a first come first serve basis for a flat fee of 20.00 dollars, including portage, paddle, PFD, and a large dry bag. The guide will be bringing them with him, so this will save you having to pick up your rental, buy a rack, as well as portage. That is if you do not own your boat, yet. We will only bring our rentals with us if they are rented, so please e-mail Kellie at [masked] if interested. Please do not make rental requests in the RSVP or comment field below, because it becomes too difficult to keep up with requests made in multiple locations. As a result, I can only count requests made through e-mail. Thanks so much for your understanding. Your guide will bring you the boat along with a paddle, PFD, and a large dry bag.

Renting From Pohick

Another option is to rent from Pohick directly. Please note, that although Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group's boats are much less expensive to rent, that they are rented very quickly (often many months before a paddle event) so at least there is another option for you by renting from Pohick. Click Here (https://www.novaparks.com/parks/pohick-bay-regional-park/things-to-do/boat-rental) for information, including pricing, for renting from Pohick which is where this paddle begins.

The Paddle

http://photos1.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/3/9/8/1/event_46394721.jpegAlthough parts of this paddle can be done separately as round trips, to truly experience the wonder of Mason Neck, we arrange a two-car shuttle leaving cars at both Mason Neck State Park, and launch our boats from Pohick Bay Regional Park.

Paddle Trip Plan

We will explore the more interesting parts of Pohick. Then soon after rounding Hallowing Point, we will enjoy some of the most expensive properties in Fairfax County. When the houses end, we will enter the Great Marsh. Beavers are very active here, and the river otter too. Also, tundra swans often gather here. Right after the Great Marsh we will reach the large rookery, which contains several hundred nests and they should be in roost this time of year, yay! Then it is off to the placid waters of Belmont bay. Lastly, we will explore Kane’s Creek which is a beautiful tidal creek filled with spatterdock.

While the paddle portion of this adventure takes to the largest Heron Rookery in the states, the hike portion at Mason Neck, takes us to one of the top places in the country for viewing Bald Eagles! So this day is for the birds-grin! There is ton of wildlife to be seen all around this area so don't forget your waterproof camera...

http://photos3.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/3/c/6/f/event_46395471.jpegPaddle Trip Information

Activity Type: Kayaking, Canoeing, and Hiking
Nearby City: Lorton, VA
Length: About 8 Miles for the Paddle and an optional 4-mile hike after the paddle.
Approximate Paddling Time: About 5 hours for the proper time to enjoy it
Difficulty: Ranging from protected marsh to open, tidal water. The hike is easy and rather flat.

Required Gear for the Paddle

Kayak or canoe, paddle, personal flotation device. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen! Pack a lunch to enjoy on the paddle and we will be stopping somewhere on our return trip home for dinner for a whole day of fun! Please remember not to pay for this non-refundable trip until you have secured a boat. We are not responsible if you RSVP before security a boat.

What is the Fundraiser Paddle Event Supporting?

Click here (http://http://midatlantichikinggroup.org) to find out more about our mission that the event fee associated with guided paddle trips and our other events support. Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is committed to transparency and is proud to have received a Gold Star rating by Guidestar. Click Here (https://www.guidestar.org/profile/47-5141831) to see our profile on Guidestar.

Boat Launch Fee
4.00 dollars. Click Here (http://www.nvrpa.org/park/pohick_bay/content/boat_launching) for more information about boat launch fees for seniors and or season passes.

The Hike

Join Us for a Post Paddle Easy and Flat Bald Eagle Spotting Hike of 4 Miles in Mason Neck State Park!

http://photos2.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/b/d/c/5/event_46428581.jpegMason Neck State Park is on a peninsula formed by Pohick Bay on the north, Belmont Bay on the south and the Potomac River on the east. The peninsula is an active heron rookery. The park also attracts several other migrating and non-migrating species of birds, including tundra swans and assorted species of duck. Bald eagles also inhabit the area. The park boasts several hundred acres of hardwood forests consisting of oaks, holly, hickory and other species of trees. In addition, several wetland areas are also found in Mason Neck.

The land was purchased over the years from the Nature Conservancy. The park connects with a National Wildlife Refuge, which is more than 2,000 acres. The park opened to the public in 1985.

Trail Information

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Springfield
Length: 4-5 Miles
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Very easy
Season: Year-round
Local Maps: USGS Fort Belvoir, Indian Head
Topo Map: Mason Neck State Park Topographic
Map Guide Book: Best Hikes Near Washington, D.C.

Park Fee

$4.00 (Take note we will already have cars parked at this location as this is a point to point paddle)

Directions to the Event

Click Here to where (http://www.midatlantichiking.com/pages/Directions_to_Pohick_Bay_Paddle_and_Hike_Combo/) we meet for this paddle

The paddle is at 10:00 a.m.

Carpool meetup time from Savage Station is 8:45 a.m.

Carpool meetup time at Centerville Park and Ride is 9:00 a.m.

Our Paddling Disclaimer Blurb and Refund Policy

By attending this or any other paddling/hiking event with The Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group, you are agreeing that you are responsible for your own safety at all times. No member of the group except yourself can be held responsible for any damages, accidents, or liabilities incurred while paddling with us. Paddling is an inherently dangerous sport like any other outdoor activity. Information is provided with the understanding that the providers are not engaged in rendering advice on technical matters, equipment performance, safety, or any other aspect of the sport in absolute terms or advocating any of the techniques or experiences described.

This trip is a fundraiser event and non-refundable and non-transferable, period. Please take this into consideration prior to RSVP'ing for this event. It is your responsibility to secure a boat for this trip before RSVP'ing. Refunds are not provided if you RSVP for the trip without making sure you had a boat for the trip. A detailed explanation of why there are no refunds for kayak trips is provided in the link provided under the heading "What is the Fundraiser Paddle Event Supporting?" above. I am putting this here in great detail in case you change your mind, or could not get a boat, that it has been clear since this was first posted that there are no refunds, selling your slot, or transfers for another event for this trip.

See you there for this remarkable trip!

Mike Harris:[masked]

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