Did you know that Mason Neck State Park has six canoes, four solo (one-passenger) kayaks and two tandem (two-passenger) kayaks available for rental from April through October? They’re available seven days a week on a first come, first served basis, between the hours of 10 A.M. and 5 P.M. at the Visitor Center.
Canoeing or kayaking is a great way to explore nature and look for Mason Neck’s resident bald eagles. Since the eagles are fish eaters, they’re frequently seen soaring over (and plunging into) the creek and bay. Kanes Creek is nearly inaccessible to hikers as well, so a canoe or kayak is the best way to explore its hidden beauty. In addition to eagles and osprey, you might see cavorting river otters, craggy snapping turtles, marshy wildflowers like pickerelweed, and so much more.
• Canoes are $12 per hour, $35 for exactly four hours, and $50 for more than four hours.
• Solo kayaks are $10 per hour, $35 for exactly four hours, and $50 for more than four hours.
• Tandem kayaks are $15 per hour, $45 for exactly four hours, and $60 for more than four hours.
• All boats must be returned by 5 P.M.
Many people ask what kind of training is required to rent Mason Neck State Park’s canoes and kayaks. You don’t need any special certification to rent our boats, although since we don’t offer individual paddling lessons you ought to have a grasp of the basics. You’ll need to leave a driver’s license or other official picture ID at Mason Neck’s Visitor Center while you are using our rental equipment. We also have a few age requirements:
• At least one adult (18+) must be in each group.
• At least one adult must be in each two-passenger boat (canoe or tandem kayak).
• Teens 13-17 years old must be accompanied by an adult, whether in the same boat or a different one.
• Children 6-12 must be accompanied by an adult in the same boat, and may not paddle a solo kayak.
• Children younger than 6 years old may not ride in our rental boats.
The canoes at Mason Neck State Park can hold a maximum of two adults and one small child. Tandem kayaks fit two passengers, while solo kayaks take only one passenger. The boats are very stable, and as long as you stay knelt or seated you shouldn’t need to worry about the boat overturning.
You may paddle in Kanes Creek or anywhere in Belmont Bay up to the mouth of the Occoquan River. We recommend Kanes Creek instead of the expanse of the bay since the creek has a higher concentration of wildlife sightings. It’s also harder to lose your way on the creek paddle. Just follow Mason Neck State Park’s shoreline on your right on the way out, and keep it on your left when you turn around to come back. Voila!
Come explore Mason Neck’s natural beauty by renting a canoe or kayak.