A letter written to usfrom Bob Cianflone, a park visitor from Brunswick, Maryland
Nature Hike, Eagle Spotting, Campfire Picnic
This was the first time I have visited Mason Neck State Park. I hike regularly, so this was a special treat for our group, as we headed into virgin territory. We had a group of 30 adults from all corners of the Washington, D.C. metro area. We literally stayed at the park from opening until closing, as we enjoyed ourselves so much. We took many excellent photos of eagles and of the pristine snow-covered wilderness, as well as several first-rate sunset photos.
Our group visits area parks for hiking as well as kayaking trips. We chose Mason Neck on this date as it would be snow covered and entail a different sort of adventure for us during the off-season period when it is less crowded.
What a day! I admit that I saw more eagles on this day than on any other day in my entire life. It should be known that I am an avid outdoorsman. It was exciting and educational for all of us. It felt amazing having those eagles carry on their daily routines with us there watching them, giving us the feeling that we were a part of their very lives.
Our day at the park started with an eagle interpretive program presentation by the park’s naturalist, Ricardo Hoyos. The young man was very knowledgeable. Our large audience enjoyed it tremendously. He even had spotting scopes set up for us at a large window overlooking Belmont Bay, where we saw several bald eagles. It was amazing. Those splendid raptors are magnificent creatures. It is appropriate that they have been chosen to represent our great nation.
The rangers were extremely helpful throughout the day. The walkways were salted for us, they provided plenty of wood for our campfire and they continually made sure we had what was needed to make for a fantastic day.
We eventually did a four-mile hike in the park, using the Eagle Spur Trail. The main part of our group went all the way to Kanes Creek, taking a break at the Bird Blind at the water’s edge. We returned to our base camp, where we were met by a roaring campfire. We had a big lunch there (eagle watchers have to eat well). We all promised to one another that we would return to this wonderful park.
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