Friends of Mason Neck State Park
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Events Coming Soon

We're busy planning some more great events...

Mason Neck State Park Eagle Festival,

10 AM – 4 PM, May 11, 2024

Mark your calendar for Mason Neck State Park’s annual Eagle Festival – from 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday, May 11.

The park will have a variety of live shows, including hawks and owls from Secret Garden Birds and Bees.


A wide variety of interactive exhibits will entertain and inform both children and adults.

Food trucks, live bands and other attractions will round out the day.


We’ll have more information about Eagle Festival 2024 in a couple of weeks. 

The Friends Finished their Evaluation of

the Park’s Accessible Trails

Friends’ Board member Pam Cressey and Kris Gulden, the Board’s Accessibility Advisor, have completed their detailed review of the four trails in Mason Neck State Park that Virginia has designated as accessible.

The Friends’ website now contains detailed descriptions of the four trails, including information on accessibility and photos of trail conditions.    


The review of the park’s trails is part of the Friends’ continuing work with Park staff to make Mason Neck State Park more accessible.

You can see the reviews of all four trails here.

Welcome New Staff at

Mason Neck State Park

Good news for visitors to the park:  With the addition of two new personnel, Mason Neck State Park is once again fully staffed. Please take a moment to welcome them if you run into them.

Alexis Brink

Alexis joined Mason Neck State Park in October 2023 as the Chief Ranger Law Enforcement / Operations.  She was born and raised in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains in Northwestern Pennsylvania, growing up in the outdoors.

After graduating from high school, she joined the Army, serving as a construction mechanic for 9 years in Georgia, South Korea, Tennessee, and Virginia.

During her career transition she had the opportunity to complete an internship with Virgina State Parks at Pocohontas State Park while working towards a bachelor’s degree in environmental science at American Military University.

Alexis enjoys gardening, mountain biking, and jeep camping, all of course with her two dogs Harley and Jersey.

Alexis will head to the Cardinal Criminal Justice Academy in January to start her law enforcement training. We’ll see her back at the park on a full-time basis this summer.


Peter Carmines

Peter joined Mason Neck State Park in November 2023 as a full-time Park Ranger.  Peter was born and raised in Newport News, VA, growing up right down the street from the James River. He attended Virginia Commonwealth University, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Regional Studies.

Peter has a background working in Information Technology (IT); however, the office life did not suit him, leading him to a career with Virginia State Parks. Just prior to joining the team at Mason Neck State Park, he participated in Virginia State Park's Career Development Program at Natural Bridge State Park in Rockbridge County.

Peter is an avid tennis player, kayaker, and an aspiring sailor.


2023 “Picture the Magic” Photography Contest Prize Winners

Congratulations to Charles Schmidt, Poppy Lister, and Ange Camp for their winning entries in this year’s photography contest.  Charles is the $300 Grand Prize winner; The $200 First-Place Young and Adult categories were won by Poppy and Ange respectively.

Grand Prize – Charles Schmidt – “Red Fox Crossing Frozen Marsh”

Caption:  “This is a photograph of Red Fox that was crossing the frozen marsh in December 2022.  I chose this photograph because it is unusual to find the marsh frozen solid enough that a fox could cross. I also love the contrast between the red of the fox’s fur and the blueish tint of the frozen landscape. It also shows that beautiful animals can be seen year-round at the Park.”

First Place – Young – Poppy Lister – “Flutter Flower”

Caption: “I liked this photo because there’s a purple flower and purple is my favorite color.   Also, there are butterflies on it and butterflies are my favorite insect! It reminded me of the beautiful flower gardens we went to in Columbia (MD).

First Place – Adult – Ange Camp – “Mouthful”

Caption:  “I could not believe it when I glanced by the water on the beach area of Mason Neck and saw this water snake with his catch.  I chose this photo as I believe it shows beauty while also showing the circle of life.”  Note:  Ange also won First Place in last year’s contest.

You can see all of the prize-winning photos, including the Honorable Mentions, here.

Join the Fight Against Disposable Plastic

The Friends of Mason Neck State Park are doing their part to slow the production and disposal of plastics.  Plastic bottles take as long as 450 years to decompose in the environment.  Before they do, they break down into "micro-plastic" bits that are eaten by animals and can end up in our own bodies.  On land, plastic adversely affects soil fertility, and can choke our streams and rivers.

The Friends of Mason Neck State Park have stopped offering disposable water bottles to Park volunteers and at Friends events.  Instead, they are offering free multi-use bottles that recipients can take home with them.  Hopefully, people will use these bottles instead of buying more disposable ones.  

Mason Neck State Park also is committed to reducing the use of disposable plastic bottles and has installed water bottle filling stations at the Visitor Center and the picnic area.           

Do your part too:  find ways to limit your use of disposable plastics, including those grocery store bags that have a typical useful life of 15 minutes -- the time to get from store to home -- and take 1000 years to decompose in a landfill.  

The Friends of Mason Neck State Park

The Friends of Mason Neck State Park is a Section 501(c) (3) organization that works to conserve, enhance and interpret the park’s natural, educational, recreational and cultural resources. The Friends provide financial support for the park’s activities, and its volunteers assist at the park’s events and activities. The Friends also sponsor events designed to showcase the park; publish a monthly newsletter and website that highlight events at the park; and work to improve the accessibility of the park.               



Mason Neck State Park 

Mason Neck State Park is located on the Mason Neck peninsula in southeastern Fairfax County, Virginia. The Park's wetlands, forest, water, ponds, and fields are home to a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, osprey, geese, ducks, swans, and other birds living on or near the Potomac River, Kane's Creek, and Belmont Bay. 

The Park has hiking trails, three miles of paved multi-use trails, a large picnic area, a playground, a car-top canoe and kayak launch, and a visitor center. Canoe, kayak, and bicycle rentals are available.

© 2017 Friends of Mason Neck State Park, Inc.
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