Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we encourage you to:

  • Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information
  • Follow current CDC safe practices by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick

Around the Refuge

Current Conditions

Caution Promo 150x118

As of March 20, 2020, Visitor Center operations are temporarily suspended in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Public parking areas and trails remain open. The refuge is open from 6am - 9pm daily. The refuge entrance fee is waived and no pass is required. Restroom Facilities are limited to Port-a-Pots located in the parking lots for the Recreational Beach, Woodland Trail, Lighthouse Trail and Wildlife Loop. This closure follows guidance from the CDC and recommendations from state and local public health authorities. Updates will be posted to the refuge website and social media channels.


It's Nesting Season!

Nesting AMOY 150x118 Jim Duffy

You can help us give birds a chance at survival during your visit! We create nesting sanctuaries by setting aside sections of critical beach nesting habitat. To do your part, just watch for closure signs and rope-lines and be sure to obey them. You'll see these closures west of the recreational beach, along Toms Cove Hook and on Assawoman Island. All of these areas close seasonally (March 15-September 15) to help coastal birds like piping plovers, least terns and American oystercatchers raise their young.

Piping Plovers - a Federally Listed Threatened Species

Update: Water Control Structure Replacement

Culvurt Replacement March 2020 PROMO

Good news! The first phase of our water control structure replacement project is nearly complete. The Wildlife Loop is now open to hiking, biking and afternoon vehicle use (3pm - dusk). Construction and paving are on-going, so please use caution on the trail. When necessary, for your safety, there may be intermittent trail closures. When the impacted sections of the Wildlife Loop and Beach Road are being paved please expect a temporary closure on the Wildlife Loop and one-lane traffic along Beach Road. The second phase of this project will include replacement of 3 additional water control structures. Two are located on the Wildlife Loop and one is to the east of the Service Road. The refuge will post updates when a timeline for this work is established.

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:

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