Image: Copyright Occoquan Regional Park/Bill

Occoquan Regional Park
9751 Ox Road Lorton, VA 22079
Telephone: 703-690-2121

Emergency Contact Information:

Dial 911 in an emergency
Fairfax County Police-Water Patrol 703-393-5970
Prince William County Marine Police 703-797-7200
US Coast Guard Emergency Response 703-764-2121

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Bill and I kayaked at Occoquan Regional Park and it was absolutely delightful. The park is located on 400 acres of land across the river from Occoquan. There is a marina and a boat launch as well as an area to launch the kayaks. We used the actual boat launch and then discovered the kayak launch coming back from our paddle. There is a nominal fee to launch the kayaks. When we were there during the week it was the honor system so we filled out the information sheet provided and put the cash in an envelope. There is a place to deposit it in an appointed drop space. The parking lot accommodates a significant number of cars. The launching area is easily accessible and a delight to use. "Occoquan Regional Park is one of the few places in the region to serve as a trail head for and site within multiple routes of regional and national significance: Park lands, trails and associated waters are part of the Fairfax Cross-County Trail; the diverse, braided network of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail and related outdoor experiences; an historic journey commemorated by the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail ("...Four hundred years ago Englishman John Smith and a small crew of adventurers set out in an open boat to explore the Chesapeake Bay. Between 1607 and 1609 Smith and his crew mapped nearly 3,000 miles of the Bay and rivers and documented American Indian communities. Smith's map and journals are a remarkable record of the 17th-century Chesapeake...") and the Occoquan Water Trail, recognized as both a National Recreation Trail and part of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Water Trails Network. " NVPA/Occoquan Regional Park

Image: Launch Site  Image:

Image: Barge Image: Geese

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Osprey nest

This paddle destination also has some interesting landmarks to enjoy while enjoying the day. A brick kiln dates back to the early 1900's. Historical markers tell the story of the women's suffrage movement. Many women who protested for the right to vote were imprisoned in the old Lorton Prison. It is located not far from the park.

Suffragist Memorial

Image:  Image: CopyrightHorseHints.Org/Occoquan Workhouse

Image: "Fairfax County, Virginia, is the site of possible the most significant monument in the fight for women's suffrage in the United States. In 1917, more than 70 suffragists were imprisoned in the Occoquan Workhouse, then part of the Lorton Prison complex, in retaliation for picketing the Woodrow Wilson White House for the right to vote. These women were tried, convicted, and imprisoned for terms of up to seven months, ostensibly for blocking traffic on a sidewalk. The reports of inhumane conditions, beatings and force feedings at the workhouse electrified the country and became a major 'turning point' in the struggle for the 19th Amendment....

...Alice Paul and Lucy Burns founded the National Woman's Party and orchestrated the first picketing for American women's right to vote in 1917. Influenced by British Suffragists, they wanted to try something new in the United States because, despite 69 years of active campaigning, women were still without the vote..." (Taken from a brochure put out by the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association) Suffragist Memorial

Image: Lucy Burns 1913/Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons Image: Public Domain

Occoquan Barge Loading Station

Image: Occoquan Barge Loading Station is an industrial area that takes raw materials brought up river on barges, removes it, and then processes it for other use. Bill and I watched the operation as they were busily at work the day we were kayaking. I got this picture just as the sand was being dumped onto the conveyer belt. I was using a small, hand held, aim-point-and shoot, Panasonic camera. If someone has the desire to take the camera off of the automatic setting and play with f-stops, etc., you can. I, however, do not! This camera does have an excellent Lumix lens: 16x Full HD. I always take this camera on our kayaking outings as it fits well in one of the zippered pockets of my life vest. It has travelled all over the world one way or another!

There are three bridges that we crossed under on this kayaking outing. The first was the US 123 bridge, the second US 1 aka Jefferson Davis Highway Bridge, and the third bridge is a railroad track bridge that is travelled by both commuter and commercial transport trains.

Image: 123 Bridge Image: 1/ Jefferson Davis Hwy/2nd Bridge

Image: bridge/Train Bridge

For More Information:

Lorton Prison
First posted: Sept 23, 2014
Last update: Jan 21, 2020