Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge - image copyright Walter Sanford

Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge

Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge is a 1,200-acre nature preserve on the grounds of Fort Belvoir that offers trails through deciduous forests to the bay below. The forests in the Refuge attract a wide variety of spring and fall migrant bird species. Accotink Bay also attracts a variety of shorebirds, waterfowl, and offers an ideal hunting ground for nesting ospreys.

An informational kiosk adjacent to the parking lot offers trail maps, a bird list and a guide to facilitated programs. Visitors can also contact the Environmental Education Center for a list of programs.

A government identification or a daily visitor's pass is required to access the installation. A valid picture ID must be presented at the Visitors Center to get a daily visitor's pass. Please note that security levels may change at any time and can affect installation access.

Enter Your Location

Image Credit: Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge / Walter Sanford


Refuge hours:

  • Open daily from dawn to dusk

Environmental Education Center:

  • Open seasonally

Due to the preserve's location on Fort Belvoir, visitors to the refuge and education center are required to present a valid photo ID to obtain a visitor's pass.  Please note that security levels may change at any time and can affect installation access.

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)


No fee


  • Walking trails
  • Bird watching

The Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge Environmental Education Center is located at the entrance to the refuge. The center features exhibits, videos and trail guides about the refuge and offers nature education programs.

Water Flow Info:


Wheelchair accessible


Last updated: July 16, 2019
Potomac Trail