Huntley Meadows Park Audio Transcript

Huntley Meadows Park is one of the best places in the Washington metropolitan area for you to see wildlife. It’s the largest non-tidal wetland remaining in Fairfax County, a rare habitat, and there’s a half-mile boardwalk that takes you through the heart of the wetland to see the wildlife.

It’s a wonderful place for photography.

The wetland was built by the meanderings of the Potomac River with a little help from beavers and their dams. Acre for acre, wetlands support more life than any other habitat in our region, they clean our water, and they control flooding.

Huntley Meadows has nearly 15-hundred acres of wetlands, meadows and forest. There are fox, deer, coyote, beaver, otter, frogs, numerous dragonflies, and it’s ideal for bird lovers -- over 200 species have been identified in the park, including eagles, owls and rails. You can settle onto a wildlife observation platform in the park, breeze along a one-mile hike-bike trail, and stroll a two-mile interpretive trail system.

Huntley Meadows has a visitor center with an auditorium and exhibit hall. A naturalist is always available to answer your questions when the center is open. The park and trails are open dawn to dusk, 365 days a year. Visitor center hours vary, so before a trip be sure to call or check the website.  

On the website, you’ll find links to a calendar of events in the park. You’ll also find information about volunteering and internships, a park map, directions, and information about the park’s education programs. There are programs for preschoolers, elementary and secondary students, scouts and the general public. 

The park is in Alexandria’s Hybla Valley, and its address is 3701 Lockheed Boulevard. It’s at the intersection of Harrison Lane and Lockheed Boulevard.

Huntley Meadows has a wide-ranging, intriguing history. The land was owned by the Mason family, became family farms, almost became a base for dirigibles, was once a testing site for asphalt road surfaces, housed antiaircraft protection for the nation's capital during the 1950s, and was the site of highly classified radio communication research.
President Ford signed papers in 1975 giving most of the current parkland to the citizens of Fairfax County. Ducks Unlimited helped purchase an additional 165 acres in 1992.
Huntley Meadows gets strong support from the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park, a group of several hundred citizens devoted to preserving and protecting and interpreting the site. Click on the link to the Friends group website near the bottom of the Huntley Meadows home page.

Near the wetlands is Historic Huntley, a home built in 1825 by Thomson Mason. He was a grandson of George Mason, who wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which later influenced the U-S Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.  Click on the Historic Huntley link for more information about the house.

Come on out for a visit to Huntley Meadows Park. It’s one of the gems of the more than 400 parks in Fairfax County.

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