Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve

Dyke Marsh is one of the largest remaining freshwater tidal wetlands in the Washington metropolitan area. Its 485 acres of tidal marsh, floodplain, and swamp forest can be explored by boat or on foot.

Aerial photograph of cattails and tidal guts in Dyke Marsh

Things to Do

The Haul Road Trail follows an old mining road through each type of habitat in Dyke Marsh. The trail is three-quarters of a mile long, flat, and paved in a combination of pea gravel and boardwalk.

The best way to explore the tidal guts of Dyke Marsh is by boat. There are a boat ramp and boats for rent at the Belle Haven Marina.

Volunteer for our park by helping with activities such as invasive plant control in the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. Many of our recurring volunteer opportunities at the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve happen with our partner group, the Friends of Dyke Marsh. To learn more about this organization and their upcoming volunteer efforts, click here.

To request a ranger program at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve call 703235-1530.

Hours & Seasons

The grounds at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve are open year-round from 6 am to 10 pm.


Restrooms, water fountains, and trash cans are located on the Mount Vernon Trail between the two large parking lots in Belle Haven Park.

Rules and Regulations

Bicycles are not allowed on the Haul Road Trail. There is a bike rack at the entrance to the trail.

A vessel's internal combustion engine may not be used (while a vessel using electric trolling motor, sail, or paddling is allowed) and no more than three vessels of an organized group at any one time is allowed within designated areas of Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve during the Marsh wren and Least bittern nesting season from May 15 to August 25 to protect breeding Marsh wrens and Least bitterns.

Commercial activities and activities by organized groups, including commercial photography/filming and weddings, require a permit. For information about permits please call 703‑289‑2513.

For a complete list of rules, please read the Laws & Policies.

Aerial view of Dyke Marsh
A visitor is kayaking at Dyke Marsh

Lily Le/NPS


Last updated: May 17, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

George Washington Memorial Parkway Headquarters
700 George Washington Memorial Parkway

McLean, VA 22101


703 289-2500

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