Features

  • Important Alert

    OUR MAILING ADDRESS HAS CHANGED

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

  • Hours

    Refuge Hours

    The refuge is open from 5am to 10pm, 7 days a week. Visitor Center hours are 9am to 4pm, 7 days a week. (9am-5pm starting June 1st)

    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

  • Over sand vehicle icon.

    Virginia OSV Zone Status

    All OSV status updates for the Virginia portion of Assateague Island are posted in real time via the twitter account @ChincoteagueOsv.

    Click for OSV Zone Status Site

Around the Refuge

Pumping of Snow Goose Pool

Pumping Snow Goose Pool

Along the Wildlife Loop, visitors will see a warning sign, orange cones, and what appears to be a speed "bump" attached to a hose. The bump may cause damage to a low clearance vehicles, so please slow down and proceed cautiously. What is going on? We are currently pumping water from the Snow Goose Pool into the Black Duck Pool in order to lower water levels and dry the soil. This management action is needed in order to use farm tractors to mow and disk the bottom of the impoundment. By setting back succession and turning over the soil, we provide excellent foraging habitat for migratory shorebirds that eat invertebrates in the soil. Furthermore, it will encourage the growth of native plants that serve as waterfowl food in the fall and winter. A certain amount of woody vegetation is kept around the edges of the impoundments to provide windbreaks and shelter for other wildlife - though we try to keep it open enough for viewing opportunities. Visitors are more than welcome to walk and bike along this trail from 5:00 a.m to 10:00 p.m., as well as take their car from 3:00 p.m. to dusk!

Pet Policy

Pet Policy

Please leave your dog at home. All pets are prohibited (even in your vehicle). Service dogs as defined by the ADA permitted on a 6 ft leash.

ADA Service Animal Information

2019 Striped Bass Regulations

Striped Bass promo

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission issued new fishing regulations for striped bass in 2019. Know before you fish by checking their website for the most current information.

Virginia Marine Resources Commission Website

Protecting Nesting Shorebirds

Nesting AMOY 150x118 Jim Duffy

For Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge spring heralds the return of migratory birds such as piping plovers, American oystercatchers and least terns. Many of the birds who spend summers here also nest on the beach or in the marshes. Some of these bird populations are also declining in numbers and are federally protected, for instance the threatened piping plover. To give these birds a chance at survival we create nesting sanctuaries by closing Toms Cove Hook and Assawoman Island. From March 15 to September 15 we ask that you help us protect nesting shorebirds by staying out of these sensitive areas.

Learn more about piping plovers.
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

NWRS Logo

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