Saved/Threatened/Lost Acreage

CN parcels map

2872 acres saved

The Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve was created in two phases: a 1770-acre purchase in April 2008 (in green), followed by an 1102-acre purchase (in yellow) in July 2009.

1000+ acres endangered

Privately-owned land on Crow’s Nest that is not protected is threatened with development (in red).

Acres lost

The original  Accokeek National Wildlife Refuge legislation (passed in 2002 but never funded) called for the acquisition and protection of 7480 acres on the Crow’s Nest peninsula and on the surrounding shores of Accokeek and Potomac Creeks–almost double the acreage on the peninsula proper.  Since then, much of this land originally targeted for preservation has been lost to development, including the area north of Accokeek Creek.  (See map below.)

Legislation and Legal Action

  • In February 2015, the Stafford Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance establishing a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) ordinance.  Read “What Does the New TDR Legislation Mean for Crow’s Nest?”
  • A suit is expected to be filed regarding deed restrictions on lots in Crow’s Nest Harbour (the red section in the map at the top of the page)  that prevent development without sewer and water connections.  Investors purchased the land knowing that deed restrictions forbid development unless water and sewer connections were made to the area.  Now, though, they are likely to claim that such restrictions, in effect, “condemn” their land making it unbuildable.

Public Access

  • There are two ways to visit the Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve. The  access point on Raven Road Access point leads to an 18-car parking area and 8 miles of hiking trails within Crow’s Nest. The Raven Road Access is open Thursday-Sunday. The Brooke Road kayak launch has parking for 20 cars, a shoreline birding/nature trail to viewpoints of Accokeek Creek, and an ADA-accessible canoe/kayak launch. The Brooke Road Access is open 7 days a week.

    Public Access Hours:

    March 15 – October 31: 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM
    November 1 – March 14: 8:00 AM until 5:30 PM

    Download a copy of the Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve hiking and water trails map here.

  • The privately owned portions of Crow’s Nest do not allow any public access.