Visitor Activities

  • Hunting


    Large Game: The hunting of white–tailed deer via archery and shotgun, is allowed in designated zones of the refuge. The annual deer hunt is one tool used to manage wildlife populations at a level compatible with the habitat, provide for wildlife-oriented recreational opportunities, and permits the use of a valuable renewable resource. A permit is required to hunt on the refuge. 

    Small Game: Hunting of small game is not allowed on the refuge.

    Waterfowl: While the refuge does not have waterfowl hunting ON the refuge, you may access State public waterfowl hunting grounds through the Wise Point Boat Ramp.

    Learn More...

  • Fishing

    Boat ramp.

    Fishing is prohibited on the refuge; however the refuge provides access to fishing grounds in the form of a boat ramp and a kayak launch. 

    Located on the Virginia Inside Passage, the Wise Point Boat Ramp provides access to the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay for fishing, hunting, wildlife observation and photography.

    Ramp amenities include:

    - 41 trailer parking spaces
    - 21 vehicle only parking spaces
    - Twin 16-foot wide boat ramps
    - Floating courtesy pier
    - Restrooms

    Learn more about the boat ramp

  • Wildlife Viewing

    Binoculars on the refuge.

    Wildlife can be seen from a variety of locations throughout the refuge. You may catch sight of wildlife from your car window or from a hike down any of our trails which includes the Wildlife Trail, Butterfly Trail and Southern Tip Bike & Hike Trail. We also have three pollinator/native plant gardens, two of which are located at our Visitor Center and a third at our headquarters building. You can even check out our binoculars and scopes at the viewing window located at the Visitor Center.

    A comprehensive bird list of species, categorized by seasons, can be found here: Comprehensive Bird List at Eastern Shore NWR


  • Interpretation

    Children involved in refuge interpretation.

    We have interpretive events throughout the year, please contact the refuge office for a schedule of events (757) 331-2760. Click here for details about Refuge Tours at Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge.

  • Environmental Education

    Child's hands holding a snail.

    One of our goals is to provide a variety of environmental education programs to students, civic groups and others in the community Each year, people of all ages participate in these outdoor classrooms. 

    Our junior refuge manager activity book, which can easily be completed at our visitor center and by exploring our refuge, is available to download, view, save to your mobile device or print here: ESNWR Junior Refuge Manager Activity Book

  • Photography

    Bumble bee on a flower.

    Leave only footprints, take only memories…and photos! Getting that perfect shot makes reminiscing over a visit easier to share with others. Whether it’s capturing a sunset drenched salt marsh from the marsh overlook or a box turtle along the tree laden butterfly trail, there are many opportunities to put your photography skills to use on the refuge. Keep an open mind, because you never know what you might find. If you’re lucky you might be able to catch the monarch butterfly migration during the last week of September and the first weeks of October.