Shutdown Notice
Due to the lapse in federal appropriations, this website will not be updated until further notice. Where public access to refuge lands does not require the presence of a federal employee or contractor, activities on refuge lands will be allowed to continue on the same terms as before the appropriations lapse. Any entry onto Refuge System property during this period of federal government shutdown is at the visitor's sole risk. Please read this important updated message about the closure of National Wildlife Refuge System facilities during the shutdown, and refer to alerts posted on individual refuge websites for the status of visitor facilities and previously scheduled events that may still occur during the shutdown.

For more information, please visit the Department of Interior webpage at


  • 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

  • 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

  • Monarch with Boy

    Refuge Newsletter

    Read the annual update about happenings around the refuge!

    January 2018 Newsletter (pdf 259KB)

Around the Refuge

119th Annual Christmas Bird Count

Christmas Bird Count

On December 29, 2018 Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is proud to invite participants to join the 119th Annual Christmas Bird Count, conducted by the National Audubon Society. This International event provides an opportunity to engage in real citizen science by contributing to a long-running wildlife census. Pre-registration is required.


New Refuge Manager

Nancy Finley Welcome promo

We have a new Refuge Manager, Nancy Finley! Nancy is joining the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from the National Park Service in Nebraska. You can get to know her by following the link. Welcome to the team Nancy!

Click Here for the Interview

2018 Hunt Opportunities Available

Hunt Firearms image promo 150x118

The 2018 Hunt Brochures and Applications are now available. Orientations coming soon. Completed applications should be emailed to Please refer to the trail section of our website to find closure/safety information for non-hunting visitors during the hunt season.

Big Game & Waterfowl Hunting
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