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)
National Wildlife Refuge Day Celebration
Join us October 8th, for a day of family friendly activities as we celebrate National Wildlife Refuges.
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)
Lighthouse & Refuge Treks
Refuge Trek and Lighthouse Climbs are provided by our friends group, Chincoteague Natural History Association. Lighthouse closed 9/19-9/23.
For more information...
The refuge is open from 5am to 10pm, 7 days a week.
Visitor Center hours are 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week. Hours Change October 1st (see link).
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 project is underway and is expected to be complete in late December. Starting Sep. 21 the Woodland Trail Parking Lot is closed, but the trail remains open to hiking and biking. From September 20 - October 3, visitors should expect one lane closures from the old pony corral (just past Woodland Trail) to Toms Cove Visitor Center. Throughout the paving project we encourage bicyclists to use Swan Cove Trail to access the beach safely. Updates will be posted on our website as construction moves to different portions of Beach Road.
Click to enlarge Paving Map
It's here! From September 19 to October 7, send us your amazing photos of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge; images that highlight the best of the scenic landscapes, precious wildlife and small wonders that we all cherish. Rules and the entry form can be found at the link below. Please do not submit images of the lighthouse, ponies or eagles because they have already been previous winners. Read more!
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: Sep 21, 2016