Parking Lot at Woodland Trail Closed
The Woodland Trail parking lot is closed until further notice. The trail is still open to hikers and cyclists.
Beach Paving Updates (pdf 569KB)
Fee Free Days!
To honor our veterans, entrance to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is free for the weekend of November 11-13, 2016.
Read about the History of Veterans Day
OSV Zone - OPEN
South OSV Zone is COMPLETELY OPEN to all 4X4's (with a permit), pedestrians and horseback riding. North OSV zone is closed until March 15.
OSV permit information (NPS website)
The Schoolyard Habitat Outdoor Classroom at Kegotank Elementary School is complete.
For details click here
The refuge is open from 5am to 10pm, 7 days a week.
Visitor Center hours are 9am to 4pm, 7 days a week.
Contact Info, Hours & Directions
We are pleased to announce the release of the final comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) for Chincoteague and Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuges (NWR). The 15-year management plan will guide refuge practices to achieve our wildlife conservation mission and to support public use on the refuge.Chincoteague and Wallops Island NWRs Final CCP
CCP FACT SHEET
You can now download a quick synopsis of the final comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) for Chincoteague and Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuges (NWR). This 15-year management plan will guide refuge practices to achieve our wildlife conservation mission and to support public use on the refuge.Comprehensive Conservation Plan Fact Sheet (pdf - 550KB)
About the NWRS
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
Around the Refuge
Beach Road paving continues and is expected to be complete in late December. Starting October 25, contractors will be working on the east side of Beach Road near the pony viewing area. Visitors should expect one lane closures. Bicyclists are encouraged to use Swan Cove Trail to access the beach safely. Woodland Trail Parking Lot remains closed, but the trail is still open to hiking and biking. Updates will be posted on our website throughout the project.Click to enlarge Paving Map & More info
Congratulations to Lue Landsberger! She is the winner of this year's Chincoteague NWR Annual Pass Photo Contest. Look for her photo on the 2017 pass which goes on sale January 1, 2017. This image was selected by community leaders including the Mayor of the Town of Chincoteague, Inc. and other town representatives as well as spokespeople for the U.S. Coast Guard, NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce and Representative Scott Rigell's office. Thank you to all that entered and we look forward to seeing your photo's next year. For an album of all entries see our Facebook Page
Southern pine beetle infestations on Chincoteague NWR have impacted roughly 218 acres of loblolly pine forest. Dead trees left behind increase public safety risks from standing snags and raises the potential for wildfire.
Starting in September, contractors will be working around the refuge to cut down live trees infested with southern pine beetles (larger map provided via link below). Cutting will start South, near Bivalve Trail, and progress north in areas along Beach Road and up the Service Road. Cutting is expected to occur throughout the fall and winter. This project will reduce the spread of southern pine beetles in our maritime forests. You may hear loud noises such as chainsaw cutting throughout the refuge. Be aware of your surroundings and weather conditions, as high winds increase the danger of falling limbs. Periods of low humidity create dry conditions which could lead to forest fires. Maintain a safe distance from heavy equipment and always observe area closures, which we post on our website as they occur.
Supplemental southern pine beetle information can be found in the fact sheet below or by visiting www.fs.fed.us/foresthealth.Southern Pine Beetle & cutting info (pdf 898KB)
The 2016-2017 Hunt Brochures and Applications are now available. Please email completed applications to FW5_ChincoHunt@fws.gov. Please refer to the trail section of our website to find closure/safety information for our visitors during the hunt season.Big Game & Waterfowl Hunting
Over the past 200-300 years, these modern-day descendants of domestic horses have adapted to the hardships of living near the ocean. Prior to the refuge's establishment in 1943, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company purchased the ponies and continues ownership to this day. The Firemen are allowed to graze up to 150 ponies on refuge land through a Special Use Permit from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
Page Photo Credits All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Sunrise over Chincoteague - Jacqui Trump.
Last Updated: Oct 25, 2016