• Hours

    Refuge Hours

    The refuge is open from 6am to 6pm, 7 days a week. Visitor Center hours are 9am to 4pm, 7 days a week.

    Contact Info, Hours & Directions

  • Wildlife Viewing

    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

  • Important Alert


    PLEASE NOTE: Our mailing address has changed to 8231 Beach Road, Chincoteague, VA 23336.

Around the Refuge

Summer Internships


Have the time of your life connecting people with nature and conserving wild places for future generations! Applications due February 22, 2020.

I'm Interested!

Temporary Closures

Water Control Structure Wildlife Loop PROMO

Starting January 13, 2020 a contractor will be replacing some of the old water control structures on the Refuge. This project requires heavy equipment and removal of small sections of Beach Road, the Wildlife Loop Trail and E-Dike. Please expect Beach Road access to be single-lane only through February. During this time the Wildlife Loop Trail will be closed to vehicles, however visitors can walk or bike the trail from the Left of the Entrance to the Swan Cove Trail junction. Black Duck Trail is closed at Beach Road. There may be temporary closures on the Service Road.

See Map for Affected Areas

Americorps Fencing Project

Installing posts PROMO

What’s with all the activity along the marsh Service Road near the North Wash Flats? Winter visitors may notice the team from AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) Southern Region working on the fencing that surrounds the Chincoteague Ponies’ grazing areas. This improvement project follows studies from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which assessed grazing pressure on the refuge and availability of food for the ponies on the refuge. The studies revealed that while the ponies have more than enough plants to eat, a more strategic approach to grazing can help keep those plants productive over the years, providing higher quality graze and improving habitat for other species. The fencing project will allow the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company to rotate pony grazing, allowing heavily grazed areas to recovery. Good news for the ponies, but what does this mean for visitors? Not much will change, you can still expect to visit your favorite viewing sites to look for ponies as they munch away on their favorite plants, although in a few places they may be a bit further in the distance.

Looking Forward

Beach Relocation Planning

New Beach Experience (Promo 150x118)

A third collaborative, recreational beach planning workshop was held with local, state and federal partners in May 2017 to continue refining design concepts at the new recreational beach location, 1.5 miles north of the current recreational beach. Funding is currently unavailable. More materials available at FHWA Website: https://flh.fhwa.dot.gov/projects/va/chin-10/

2017 Beach Relocation Update (pdf 266KB)

About the Complex

Chincoteague NWR Complex

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Chincoteague NWR Complex .

Read more about the complex
About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


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