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 September 18, 2020, Visitor Center and Lighthouse operations are temporarily suspended in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The refuge is open from 6:00 AM - 8:00 PM daily with adjusted operations (see the link for full details). 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.

Details on available facilities

Fall Hours


Beginning September 15, 2020 the refuge will transition to Fall hours. As of that morning, we will be open daily from 6am to 8pm.

Contact Info, Hours & Directions


No lifeguard

Starting Saturday June 27, 2020: A limited number of lifeguards will be on duty for emergency response only from Thursdays through Mondays from 10 am - 5 pm. There will be NO LIFEGUARDS on duty Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Swim at your own risk. Strong currents may exist. We strongly recommend that visitors recreating in or near the water wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.

Beach & Surf Safety

What's Happening on the Refuge?


In partnership with Ducks Unlimited the refuge has begun the second phase of replacing aging culverts that connect various pools on the refuge. This Summer and Fall, culverts will be replaced on the southern and northern ends of the Wildlife Loop (ie. Black Duck Pool/Snow Goose Pool and Snow Goose Pool/Shovelers Pool), and near North Wash Flats (off of the Service Road). These “water control structures” allow us to keep the pools filled during waterfowl season and draw down the water in spring & summer, providing habitat for our shorebirds and wading birds. There may be temporary closures on the Wildlife Loop during this time. Thank you for your patience, please stay safe.

Click to enlarge Map
Refuge News

The Daily Pass is Back!

2020_Fee_Change_PROMO _image

This summer, the refuge is reinstating a $10 daily entrance pass, which provides a lower cost opportunity for people looking to enjoy a day-trip into nature. Visitors seeking an extended experience can purchase a weekly pass for $25, while the annual pass now costs $45. Federal Duck Stamp holders can access the recreational beach (for the duration of the stamp validity) with the purchase of a $20 Annual Beach Parking Permit.

Full List of Available Passes

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