Leesylvania State Park on the Potomac River.
APRIL 29, 2014 BY Bradley Caricofe, Filed: Bald Eagle Photography
Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge, Virginia, is one of our top DC-area destinations for bald eagle spotting. The 542-acre property is situated on the tip of a peninsula jutting into the Potomac River between Neabsco and Powell’s creeks, and offers hiking, camping, boating, fishing, and waterfront picnic opportunities.
Part of Virginia State Parks, Leesylvania has a rich history and during colonial times was the birthplace and childhood home of Henry Lee III (Light Horse Harry), a former governor of Virginia and father to Robert E. Lee. During the Civil War, the site was home to Confederate forces and gun emplacements overlooking the Potomac River.
Due to local development and its orientation on a peninsula, wildlife has been pushed into the Leesylvania State Park area, and the park is teeming with an abundance of eagles, hawks, heron, deer, foxes, and more.
LocationAddress: 2001 Daniel K Ludwig Drive, Woodbridge, VA, 22191
GPS: 38.589621, -77.256421
FeaturesLeesylvania State Park is one of our favorite Northern Virginia for viewing bald eagle activity.
Neabsco Creek is a large marsh bordering Neabsco Road to the north (left) as you are approaching the Leesylvania State Park entrance. The wetland supports a tremendous array of wildlife, and is a hotbed of activity for bald eagles, hawks, and herons.
The entrance area for Leesylvania State Park offers sweeping views of Neabsco Creek and is one of the park’s top viewing locations for bald eagles. Directly in front of the entrance, and located in the middle of Neabsco Creek, is a visible log known as the “Dinner Table”, where bald eagles can often be seen dining together.
Parking opportunities in this area are sparse; be smart and don’t disregars any “No Parking” or “No Trespassing” signs.
Powell’s Creek is also a hotbed for bald eagle activity, and adult and juvenile eagles can be seen fishing and resting along the tree line throughout the day. The beach area around the railroad bridge offers a great spot for spotting bald eagles, which can often be seen in the trees across the water at the opposite end of the bridge.
Be sure to bring your binoculars and look back into Powell’s Creek to see bald eagles fishing and fighting. A trail runs from the railroad bridge along the waterline to the boat ramp parking area, along which bald eagles can often be spotted.
BOAT RAMP PARKING
After scanning the entrance area, one of the first things we always do upon arrival to Leesylvania, is to visit the boat ramp parking lots and scan all the tree lines that border them. You can often find a bald eagle resting or dining on a fish in this area.
A very short uphill hike to this relative cliff overlooking the Potomac can present excellent bald eagle viewing opportunities, as they pass overhead and out to the river in search of food.
- Bring your binoculars or camera with a long lens.
- Try to visit on weekdays when the park is less crowded. You may have a better chance at close encounters with the bald eagles.
- Download Leesylvania State Park Map (PDF)
Map(Click for Full Screen Map)
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