Winter Dike Gate Closure Extended Until July

As a result of an eagles' nest close to the dike road and upcoming summer construction projects at Live Oak Point, the refuge is extending the winter Dike Gate closure until July. Closed areas include areas to the west of the Dike Gate, including the pumphouse, Hog Pen Point, Long Dike, Live Oak Point and Cross Dike trails. Other areas of the refuge will remain open during their usual hours.

Congress established Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge on December 30, 1960, to protect migratory birds and their habitats and conserve endangered and threatened species. The refuge is located on Knotts Island in Currituck County, North Carolina, and includes lands in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The refuge attracts tens of thousands of mallards, teal, gadwall, and wood ducks during the winter. During the summer, a diversity of marsh birds can be found on the refuge. The refuge has recorded 187 species of birds, and is home to a variety of reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Conservation agencies and organizations have listed many bird species found on the refuge as high priority or rare and of special concern, including king rail.
Front cover of a brochure reading "US Fish and Wildlife Service Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge" and an image of swans and ducks taking off from a marsh.
This brochure provides a map and an overview of the habitats, management, and visitor opportunities on the refuge.
A White Tailed Deer standing in the middle of a gravel road on the refuge.
Public deer hunting is permitted on the Refuge on designated dates, locations, and with permitted equipment in these regulations.

Visit Us

National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. Mackay Island NWR is perfect for nature photography, birding, hiking, biking, and wildlife observation, featuring concentrations of snow and Canada geese, ducks, warblers, osprey and other raptors, wading birds, and shorebirds, along with a variety of reptiles, amphibians and mammals. 

Location and Contact Information

      Our Species

      Our Library

      Calendar of Events at Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge

      Events at Mackay Island include Open Roads Days, when roads normally closed to public vehicle access are opened for wildlife viewing and fishing access, and refuge deer hunts. The calendar of events is updated annually, typically in June.