The Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve is a freshwater, tidal marsh on the Virginia side of the Potomac River in Fairfax County. It is a unit of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, U.S. National Park Service. Dyke Marsh is one of the largest remaining freshwater tidal wetlands in the Washington metropolitan area. It has 485 acres of tidal marsh, floodplain, and swamp forest which can be explored by boat or on foot.
Dyke Marsh Preserve features a well-developed wetland forest, expansive mudflats, and vistas of the Potomac River. Over 250 species of birds have been seen at this park. This preserve’s juxtaposition to the Potomac and urban environments makes it an oasis for wildlife. A trail runs through the wetland forest with an extensive understory that attracts fall and spring migrants.
Red-eyed and white-eyed vireos, great crested flycatcher, and warblers galore can be seen in these woods after a massive migration event. The trail also runs adjacent to the extensive Hunting Creek mudflats, which is a great spot to view foraging shorebirds and waterfowl. The lucky visitor can see up to a dozen bald eagles on the mudflats. Flowering plants throughout the site are also sure to attract a diverse array of butterflies.
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