June 3, 2022
If you like your hiking with a healthy serving of history, then George Mason’s Gunston Hall is the place for you. The Founding Father’s home is situated along Gunston Cove where Pohick and Accotink Creek meet the Potomac River along the Virginia shoreline. This area is the native land of both the Piscataway and Doeg tribes.
Gunston Hall may not have the grandeur of other Founding Father’s homes, but it also doesn’t have the crowds and traffic. It is a low-key experience that is rich in history and nature. Purchase a $5 pass to explore the grounds which portray the high stature of George Mason with graceful European-style landscaping. A $10 pass will get you access to both the museum and the grounds, which are open from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm.
The website offers short snippets to read or listen to while you wonder the grounds. Up for exploration is the kitchen, the dairy, the laundry facilities, the quarters where enslaved people lived, the school house, and more. After traveling through history, enjoy a little nature by choosing one of the three short hiking trails. The Bluebird trail takes you on a tour of the bluebird boxes, while the Bluff Trail and River Trail are a bit more difficult but offer beautiful views of the Gunston cove and the Potomac River.
Summer Saturdays at the hall provide a themed event with a different theme each Saturday. These drop-in days hold archaeology, gardening, food, and other historical programs.
Looking for more activities in the area? Gunston Hall is near Mason Neck Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.