Oversand Vehicle Zone Updates
The South OSV zone is open to the Coast Guard Station. The North OSV zone is open to OSV permit holders who are actively fishing.
Click here for OSV permit information.
The refuge is open from 6am to 8pm, 7 days a week.
Visitor Center hours are 9am to 4pm, 7 days a week.
Contact Info, Hours & Directions
Guide to VA Barrier Islands
We've compiled a quick reference to the barrier island beaches you can enjoy in Virginia during the spring and summer nesting season!
VA Barrier Islands Guide (pdf 478KB)
Recent Bird Sightings
This list shows data from eBird Trail Tracker. Since many refuge locations are included, one species may be listed multiple times.
Recent Bird Sightings
Beach Road Paving Updates
Expect intermittent one-lane closures along Beach Road. To bike safely to the beach, please use Swan Cove Trail.
Read more (pdf 648KB)
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
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge recently transferred $1.5 million to the Town of Chincoteague. The purpose of this grant is to enhance tourism by promoting visitor safety of bicyclists and pedestrians accessing the Refuge through the main thoroughfares of Town.Read More (pdf 17.8KB)
The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company (CVFC) and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge will welcome visitors to view the Spring Roundup at the South Pony Corral on the evening of Friday, April 7 and the morning of Saturday, April 8. Please enjoy this opportunity to view the ponies while observing safety precautions posted by the CVFC. As a safety precaution, the Service Road will be closed Saturday April 8 at D-dike to all visitors until roundup activities are completed in the afternoon. Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company Website
Are you a young, aspiring wildlife artist? Perhaps you know one. We are pleased to invite youth artists (K-12) to submit entries in a children’s art contest that will be held as part of our International Migratory Bird Day Celebration. This freestyle art contest, sponsored by the Historic Main Street Merchants Association, must be an original drawing of a migratory bird that can be seen at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Contest Details
You may have noticed some dramatic changes to our forest, particularly along Bivalve Trail. In the fall of 2016, the refuge contracted a forester to cut down southern pine beetle infested trees in this and two other areas. Although environmental and climatic factors that contribute to beetle infestations are difficult to identify, thinning these stands of loblolly pine trees may help us suppress the spread of the beetle and could protect the remaining parts of our forests from the outbreak. Read more & learn about the southern pine beetle (pdf 1.3MB)
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: Mar 21, 2017