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Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve

Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve

Crow's Nest is, simply, a beautiful place and considered highly significant from numerous standpoints. Topography is varied, with the high narrow ridgeline rising 160 feet above two tidally influenced creeks: Potomac and Accokeek. The peninsula is deeply dissected on both its northern and southern flanks by a series of deep ravines cutting into ancient coastal plain marine sediments and feeding tidal marshes along the bordering creeks.

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Image Credit: Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve


March 15 – October 31: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
November 1 – March 14: 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m daily

(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.)


The large area of open-space protected as Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve, plus its location near a major population center, represents great potential for providing passive recreation and outdoor education opportunities for Virginia's citizens as well as visitors to the Commonwealth. The first staff and operations resources to support management of Crow's Nest are now in place, and initial public access facilities opened in 2013. Look for additional access opportunities in 2017 as more facilities, including expanded vehicle access and parking, are implemented at the preserve.

Water Flow Info:


The Brooke Road access point offers parking for 20 cars, a shoreline birding/nature trail to viewpoints of Accokeek Creek, and an ADA-accessible canoe/kayak launch facility for the Crow's Nest Water Trail.   Work to improve the 1.6-mile long access road into the interior of the preserve from Raven Road is nearing completion.       This road will allow visitors to reach the  interior 16 car parking area and access the 8-mile hiking trail system, featuring interpretive information about the natural and cultural history of Crow's Nest.  The access road and hiking trail system should open to the public in the winter of 2017.


Last updated: February 25, 2021
Captain John Smith Chesapeake Trail