Birdwatchers, rejoice! We’ve found the best spots for seeing a variety of birds all in the same area. Here are three of our favorite spots:

Prince William Loop

Birds you’ll see: shorebirds, songbirds, waterfowl

Additional animals you’ll see: muskrats, beavers, reptiles, and dragonflies

The Prince William Loop was named by the Virginia Society of Ornithology that takes birdwatchers on a trip through the historic town of Occoquan to Chopawamsic Creek Wildlife Area via a trail on Quantico Marine Base. The entire loop is positioned on the Potomac River and makes stops at Prince William Forest Park and several state parks. This route will take visitors through wooded forests and rolling hills, near the Atlantic, through marshes, tidal creeks and the riverside. 

Quick Tips:

– This could be a several day trek, especially if you spend a lot of time at Prince William Forest Park. Bring a picnic lunch when visiting the state parks.

– Don’t forget to charge your camera and bring good walking shoes.

Leesylvania State Park

Birds you’ll see: ospreys, bald eagles, paddling ducks, owls, woodpeckers, hawks, and warblers

Leesylvania State Park is a 500-acre park on the Potomac River. This park is a great spot for families and solo travelers and offers many hiking trails, boating options, kayak and canoe trips and more. For bird watchers- arrive early in the mornings for the best opportunities to view the bald eagles and ospreys. 

Quick Tips:

– April through October: Embark on a park sponsored canoe trip in Powells Creek.

– Make sure to visit during spring and fall migrations

– Stop by the visitors’ center and learning center to ask local guides for the best spots to view animals during the month you are visiting

Metz Wetlands Bank and Rippon Lodge

Birds you’ll see: waterfowl, songbirds, great blue heron, great egrets, bald eagles & grassland birds

Forested, marshy wetlands create an ideal environment for birds and marine life. A trail takes visitors along the Chopawamsic Creek and on a viewing platform that allows birdwatchers the best view without walking through the animals’ natural habitat. Because of the incredibly untapped natural landscape many birds use this area when migrating for the winter and some come to nest, feed and rest during the spring months. There are many opportunities to see some rare breeds.

Quick Tips:

– A full list of bird sightings available at the front of the trail.

– Bring binoculars and wear walking shoes

– Sometimes during the fall migration periods, there are guided tours around the Metz Wetlands with a talk and breakfast afterwards at Rippon Lodge. Check out for additional information regarding times and schedule.


If you want to meet up with likeminded bird watchers, embark on monthly field trips to different areas of Virginia, you might want to join the Virginia Society of Ornithology or the Northern Virginia Bird Club. Our other favorite area is Huntley Meadows Park in Fairfax County, Virginia.