Piscataway Park | PARK AT A GLANCE

National Colonial Farm at Piscataway Park

National Colonial Farm at Piscataway Park

PARK OVERVIEW

Piscataway Park is located about ten miles south of Alexandria, Virginia, on the Maryland side of the Potomac River in Accokeek. Its roots go back to 1955 when Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association member Frances Bolton purchased a farm on the Potomac River across from Mount Vernon and then, in 1957, donated it to form the Accokeek Foundation. Members then started a campaign to purchase the adjacent land along a six-mile stretch of shoreline to keep the view from Mount Vernon just as it was when George Washington lived there. This led to the involvement of the National Park Service and the eventual creation of Piscataway Park in 1961 (it was not officially open to the pubic until 1968). It is the first and only National Park unit created to protect a vista.

The park covers around 4,500 acres, but very little of this is developed for tourists, and two-thirds is still in private hands. When it was established, people had residences within the park boundaries and the Accokeek Foundation was already managing the National Colonial Farm, so those already in the park were permitted to stay, but no new development can take place. Only four small areas are actively managed by the National Park Service or partner organizations. Piscataway Park is mainly of interest to local Maryland and Virginia residents and is not a place on the “Must See” list of tourists coming to the Washington, D. C., area. It is officially part of the National Capital Parks East unit of America’s National Park system.

The main attraction at Piscataway Park is the National Colonial Farm, a farm still run as if it were 1770. This is located in the central area of the park. In addition to cultivated fields and farm animals are six short hiking trails, a fishing pier, and a boat dock for those arriving to the park by boat. Another short trail lies just east of the farm.

The only other places of interest to the public are the Marshall Hall area on the western side of the park where you will find a boat ramp and a historic mansion ruin, and Farmington Landing on the eastern side, a popular fishing hole and canoe launch area. A fourth section is detached from the main park property and located across Piscataway Creek near Fort Washington Park (also a National Park unit). This section hosts the Fort Washington Marina and a short hiking trail.


OPERATING HOURS

The grounds of Piscataway Park are open from sunrise to sunset.

Activities at the National Colonial Farm are held from March through the end of November, Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 AM to 4 PM. From December through the end of February the farm grounds are accessible, but no activities are held and all farm buildings are closed. Regardless of farm hours, the hiking trails and fishing pier are accessible from sunrise to sunset like the rest of the park.

The Accokeet Foundation Visitor Center is also open from March through the end of November, Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 AM to 4 PM. It is closed the rest of the year.

Times can always change, so before making travel plans be sure to visit the official Piscataway Park Basic Information web page for the latest schedule.


FEES

There are no fees to enter Piscataway Park. The National Colonial Farm does charge a fee for school and adult group tours, but there are no fees for individuals to visit the farm.


SCHEDULING YOUR TIME

National Colonial Farm
allow 1 hour

All other activities involve outdoor recreation such as hiking, so time spent at the park is up to you.

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Last updated on April 17, 2020
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