Rules and Regulations

Scrub shrub habitat.

Permitted activities include wildlife observation, photography, nature study and hiking on the trails and along some roads. Please watch for signs that close some areas to visitors. Fisherman Island and Skidmore Island contain sensitive nesting habitat for migrating shore birds; access to these islands is prohibited except during guided tours of the island. More information about the sensitive nature of the barrier islands and nesting shore birds, including a map of barrier island land ownership is available to download, view, save to your mobile device and print before you arrive here: Barrier Islands Shore Nesting Bird Brochure and Map

The refuge trails are open dawn to dusk. Our trail map is available to download, view, save to your mobile device and print before you arrive here: Eastern Shore of Virginia Tear Map

Pets must be kept on a leash at all times and on designated trails. 

Prohibited items and activities include use of metal detectors, picnicking outside of designated areas, collecting of plants, animals or artifacts and use of personal watercraft (PWC’s). 

There are lots of fun, interesting, and educational things you can do on the refuge. Keep in mind, if an activity is not wildlife-related and doesn't help in the protection or understanding of wildlife or their habitat, there are probably refuge rules governing this activity. Please check with the refuge management before participating in an activity that could harm the environment or yourself. There are plenty of activities at Eastern Shore of Virginia National Refuge for you to enjoy.

Be safe and have fun!