Caledon State Park

Caledon State Park

A designated National Natural Landmark, Caledon State Park provides visitors a unique opportunity to view bald eagles in their natural habitat. Caledon and the surrounding areas are the summer home for one of the largest concentrations of bald eagles on the East Coast.

As many as 60 eagles have been spotted here on the bluffs overlooking the Potomac River, a major Chesapeake Bay tributary. Caledon preserves the national bird's habitat while allowing visitors to enjoy the beauty of this part of the Potomac River by hiking and picnicking in a mature forest.  Trails, including Boyd's Hole Trail, which leads to the Potomac River, are open year-round. A visitor center with bald eagle exhibits, four picnic areas, a picnic shelter and restrooms also are available.

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Hours

Open from 8 AM until dusk.

(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.)

Fees

Daily parking for passenger vehicles is $4 on weekdays and weekends.

History

The British navy passed the Caledon Natural Area as it sailed up the Potomac River to threaten Alexandria in August 1814.

Caledon Plantation, established in 1659 by the Alexander family, stood here during the War of 1812. Members of this family founded the city of Alexandria.

After convincing Alexandria to surrender and looting its public stores and warehouses, the British began their journey back to the Chesapeake Bay and on to Baltimore.

As the British sailed back toward Caledon Plantation on September 2, American forces at batteries near Mount Vernon, Virginia, and Indian Head, Maryland, attacked the squadron. However, this did little to impede the British.
 

Activities

Ten hiking trails and four multi-use trailstake park visitors through environmentally sensitive marshlands and picturesque wooded areas of the park. The 2 mile Boyd's Hole Trail leading to the Potomac River is the most popular of the trails. Fishing is permitted along open areas of the Potomac River but not at Jones Pond or Caledon Marsh. No boating.

Facilities

Visitor Center, trails, primitive paddle-in campground, environmental education center, picnic shelter. No overnight facilities.

Accessibility

Visitor center: Accessible by a ramp at the right, front corner of the building.

Picnic area: There are three paved sites with wheelchair accessible tables. These sites connect to the parking area via paved paths.

Environmental Education Pavilion: Handicapped accessible from handicapped parking at the picnic area via compressed rock dust path.

Trails: Although motorized vehicles are not permitted on park trails, electric wheelchairs and electric scooters that meet the federal definition for wheelchairs are allowed to enable people with disabilities to use the trails.

Main image: Caledon State Park
Captain John Smith Chesapeake Trail Star Spangled Banner Trail Potomac Trail
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