• Hours

    Refuge Hours

    The refuge is open from 6am to 8pm, 7 days a week. Visitor Center hours are 9am to 4pm, 7 days a week.

    Contact Info, Hours & Directions

  • 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

  • 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

  • Monarch with Boy

    Refuge Newsletter

    Read the latest updates from around the refuge!

    January 2018 Newsletter (pdf 259KB)

  • Event - Junior Duck Stamp

    Junior Duck Stamp Contest

    Last year Virginia's artwork won the Federal Junior Duck Stamp contest! On March 23rd, the 2018 Virginia state winner will be decided.

    Click here to learn about the program.

Around the Refuge

South OSV Zone Closure for Rocket Launch

Rocket Launch NASA promo 150x118

NASA is scheduled to launch a sounding rocket on Friday, March 23rd. For your safety, the South Oversand Vehicle Zone will be closed starting at 6:00 am and remain closed until 11:15 am or when the rocket goes up (whichever occurs first). The rest of the refuge will remain open. If the launch is cancelled, the back-up schedule and related South OSV Zone closures will be the same times (6:00 am-11:15 am) on Saturday, March 24 and Sunday March 25. The link below takes you to the NASA Wallops Flight Facility website.

More about the Launch

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.

What's All that Racket?

Caution Promo 150x118

You may see or hear forestry equipment if you visit between February and April, 2018. During this time a refuge contractor will be cutting and chipping trees from Beach Road to the D-Dike area. This work will create a road corridor to the potential new beach relocation site. For more information, please click the link below.

2018 Spring Tree Cutting Project (pdf 838KB)
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