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Environmental Support

Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, a 4,320-acre base, is located in King George County. Blessed with a rich diversity of natural resources, it is separated into Mainside and Pumpkin Neck by Upper Machodoc Creek. The base environment includes many different types of habitat including pine forests, hardwood forests, mixed forests, old fields, grasslands, and wetlands.

Mainside is bisected by Gambo Creek, a 150-acre tidal marsh. This is where John Wilkes Booth landed by boat when fleeing Federal troops after he assassinated President Lincoln. A 100-acre Black Marsh is located on Pumpkin Neck. Over seven miles of Potomac River shoreline partially define the base boundary.

The 4,320 acres support a wealth of animal species. Common game animals include deer, turkey, rabbit, quail, and several species of waterfowl. Red and gray fox, raccoon, opossum, muskrat, beaver, and river otter are commonly found furbearers. Numerous non-game birds, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish complete the base wildlife checklist.

The base offers interested persons a wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities. Those wishing to hunt game may participate in a carefully regulated hunting program. Seasons and bag limits comply with those set for the Commonwealth. Two ponds, two tidal creeks, and the Potomac River offer the angler a chance to land largemouth bass, channel catfish, redear sunfish, crappie, white perch, and rockfish. A limited trapping program is also available to those in pursuit of furbearers. A 1.6-mile nature trail and special groups camping area await those wishing to simply enjoy the outdoors in a non-consumptive manner.

The Natural Resources Office within the Environmental Office manages the base natural resources. Those seeking more details about the program may contact Dr. Thomas Wray II at (540) 653-4186.


Due to the presence of unexploded ordnance and fragmenting metal, entry, fishing, or landing of watercraft along the riverfront between the Missile Test Facility and Terminal Range (approximately 3/4 mile) is prohibited.


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