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Accotink Creek Two Lookouts Loop

  3.0 ( 1 ) Favorite


2.9 mile 4.7 kilometer loop
100% Runnable


Ascent: 31' 10 m
Descent: -38' -11 m
High: 30' 9 m
Low: 2' 1 m


Avg Grade: 0% (0°)
Max Grade: 5% (3°)


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Trail shared by Dave Beck

Easy and scenic run through marshlands and the Accotink Creek.

Dave Beck

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Fishing · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildlife

Fort Belvoir Visitor Pass is required. A pass is available at the Tulley Gate Visitors Center.


This run takes you along the Accotink Creek out to two lookout points in the marshlands surrounding Accotink Bay. Expect to see marsh birds, wildlife such as turtles, deer, and fox, and plenty of beautiful wildflowers and butterflies.

Need to Know

There are no public restrooms.

Runner Notes

Trail covers a variety of surfaces from dirt, grass, sand, asphalt, and wooden boardwalks. It would make a good beginner trail for trail running or a good recovery trail.


The run starts at Fort Belvoir's Tulley Gate Visitors Center Parking lot. Civilian runners need a visitor's pass from the visitor center and require a driver's license. A 90-day pass is available if you plan to return frequently. On weekends and holidays, visitors must enter through the Lieber Gate.

The trailhead is at the corner of the parking lot and you'll head down the hill to the first right onto the Wetland Trail. You'll wander through several marsh basins on your way to Poe Road (closed to traffic). Going left on Poe Road takes you to the top of the Accotink Creek Trail. As I crossed the bridge over the Accotink Creek, I looked down to the creek to see a fox emerge from the weeds and go down to the creek for a drink. He looked up at me and nonchalantly continued drinking.

Not much farther down Poe, you turn left onto the Accotink Creek Trail and continue along the creek. I saw a man fly fishing in the creek and he said there were bass, catfish, perch, and bluegill to catch. Continue along the creekside trail going past the pedestrian bridge that crosses the creek. Eventually the grassy trail turns to boardwalk and continues to a the first lookout point out in the marsh.

From the"Trail End" sign, turn around and head back to the pedestrian bridge. There is a sandy trail just over the bridge on the right which you follow creekside to the Great Blue Heron Trail to your second lookout point. The trail continues to another boardwalk which leads out to a small wooden hut in the marsh.

From the hut, turn around and head back to where you started just over the pedestrian bridge and take a right. This leads back up to the parking lot using part of the Beaver Pond Loop Trail. You could add the full beaver dam loop to your run if you want to add another 0.5 miles.

Flora & Fauna

You might see eagles, ospreys, and other marsh birds as well as deer, fox ,and lots of turtles resting on logs in the creek. There are beautiful wildflowers along the trails leading out to the lookout points, which attract a lot of butterflies.

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in Virginia


11 Views Last Month
57 Since Sep 10, 2019



Boardwalk through the marsh on the Wetlands Trail
Sep 12, 2019 near Fort Be…, VA
I surprised this red fox who was stopping by the creek for a drink.
Sep 10, 2019 near Fort Be…, VA
Looking out to the marsh from Accotink Creek Trail lookout point.
Sep 10, 2019 near Fort Be…, VA
Wetlands Trail footbridge.
Sep 10, 2019 near Fort Be…, VA
Beautiful reflections looking across Accotink Creek from the Great Blue Heron Trail.
Sep 18, 2019 near Fort Be…, VA
Wildflowers attract a lot of butterflies along the Wetlands Trail.
Sep 10, 2019 near Fort Be…, VA


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