Much like National Donut Day and Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (June 2 and February 4, respectively, because I know you were wondering), National Get Outdoors
Day on June 10 is a day worth celebrating. As part of this holiday, Mason Neck State Park is hosting the first annual Back to the Bay Day. It will be a day full of live music, local food, drinks, and fun.
Experience the National Park Service’s mobile visitor center, tour Belmont Bay, and sample local oysters at this one day
event that celebrates National Get Outdoors Day and the Chesapeake Bay. Back to the Bay Day is designed to increase public awareness of our regional waterways, from local streams to the entire Chesapeake Bay, and garner excitement for this valuable resource.
Volunteers are needed for Back to the Bay Day. Those interested in volunteering can contact Laura Grape via email or at 703-324-1460.
We don’t want you to stop your outdoor escapades just at one day of adventures, though. Mason Neck State Park is a great place to visit the whole year-round. Less than an hour drive south of Washington, D.C., it is tucked into a peninsula between Belmont Bay, Occoquan Bay, and the Potomac River, and spans more than 1800 acres. Located within the park and listed on the National Register of Historic Places are a Native American camp and a plantation owned by the family of George Mason.
Birding is one of the more popular activities in the park, which is thought to be one of the best places to spot Bald Eagles in northern Virginia. Just to the east of the park is a tract of land called the Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, which was established specifically as a refuge for these majestic creatures.
Looking to get out on the water? Rent a kayak or canoe near the visitor’s center and make your own adventures out on the bay. You can also enjoy the several miles of paved trails by renting a bicycle from the park. If you plan on being there for lunchtime, be sure to bring your own food. There are not many places to purchase food in the area.
So, enjoy National Get Outdoors Day, but think about making it National Get Outdoors Week, or Month, or maybe even Year. There is so much to see and do in the beautiful Potomac River watershed. Many of these great events are listed on ICPRB’s Calendar of Events, including a Twilight Paddling Adventure at Mason Neck State Park the evening after Back to the Bay.