Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we encourage you to:

  • Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information
  • Follow current CDC safe practices by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick


Around the Refuge

Current Conditions

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As of October 12, 2020, Visitor Center and Lighthouse operations are temporarily suspended in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The refuge is open from 6:00 AM - 8:00 PM daily with adjusted operations (see the link for full details). This closure follows guidance from the CDC and recommendations from state and local public health authorities. Updates will be posted to the refuge website and social media channels.

Details on available facilities

2020-2021 Hunt Opportunities Available

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The 2020-2021 hunt brochures/permits and orientations are now available. NEW THIS YEAR: you no longer need to send us an application. Just print your brochure, fill out the Hunter Information and use the signed the brochure as your hunt permit. Please refer to the trail section of our website to find closure/safety information for non-hunting visitors during the hunt season.

Big Game & Waterfowl Hunting

Waterfowl Weekend

Snow Geese

Fall heralds the return of thousands of waterfowl from their northern breeding grounds to the milder climate of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy a variety of overwintering ducks, geese and swans by joining the flocks of visitors who celebrate Thanksgiving Weekend in this special place.

Special Drive Schedule

Pet Policy

Pet Policy

Please leave your dog at home. All pets are prohibited (even in your vehicle). Service dogs as defined by the ADA permitted on a 6 ft leash.

ADA Service Animal Information
What's Happening on the Refuge?

What's Happening on the Refuge?

PROMO WCS Phase II

In partnership with Ducks Unlimited the refuge has begun the second phase of replacing aging culverts that connect various pools on the refuge. This Summer and Fall, culverts will be replaced on the southern and northern ends of the Wildlife Loop (ie. Black Duck Pool/Snow Goose Pool and Snow Goose Pool/Shovelers Pool), and near North Wash Flats (off of the Service Road). These “water control structures” allow us to keep the pools filled during waterfowl season and draw down the water in spring & summer, providing habitat for our shorebirds and wading birds. There may be temporary closures on the Wildlife Loop during this time. Thank you for your patience, please stay safe.

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About the Complex

Chincoteague NWR Complex

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Chincoteague NWR Complex .

Read more about the complex
About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System

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The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS