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About the Refuge

Aerial view of the refuge.

The Virginia barrier island chain, including Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge, is one of only 17 sites in the United States classified as a “Wetland of International Importance.” The Refuge is the southernmost barrier island, located at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, and separated from the Eastern Shore of Virginia by about one-half mile of water. The Refuge is designated at an Important Bird Area and has been growing!! In the late 1800’s it was only 25 acres, compared to today at 2,000 acres!!

Because of the critical nature of its habitats for wildlife, Fisherman Island is closed to the public. 

Guided tours are offered on Saturdays from October through mid-March and during special events. To schedule a tour and inquiries about Fisherman Island, contact the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge.

The tour introduces visitors to the unique variety of wildlife found on the island. As you pass through several habitats, you will learn about wildlife management on refuges, explore the diversity of wildlife, and discover the rich history of Fisherman Island and the role it played during World War II.

  • Tour time: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Location: Meet at 8:45 am at the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
  • Trail Length: 4 miles
  • Trail Difficulty: Varies from soft to hard-packed sand
  • Registration requirements: Advance registration required
  • Fee: Free
  • To register: Contact us at 757-331-2760 ext. 123

Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge Brochure (pdf)

Contact Us

Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge
5003 Hallett Circle
Cape Charles, VA 23310
(757) 331-2760

Last Updated: May 21, 2013
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