Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you do the following:

  • Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Face masks are required in all federal buildings and on all federal lands.
  • Maintain 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

Open 6am - 8pm Daily


Here's your hub for maps, fees and all you need to Plan Your Visit! Keep in mind pets are prohibited on our Refuge.

Start Planning!

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

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. Starting March 2021, 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). This project will be ongoing through the Spring. The “water control structures” that are being replaced 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 brief, temporary closures on the Wildlife Loop during this time. Please yield to construction workers and heavy equipment on the wildlife loop. Thank you for your patience, please stay safe.

Click to enlarge Map

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 Happening on the Refuge?

Prescribed Burn Planned

Wildland Firefighters Catherine J. Hibbard-USFWS

UPDATE: this prescribed burn is postponed, but may occur later this week. Stay tuned. On April 13, 2021 a wildland firefighter crew plans to burn approximately 130 acres of the Old Fields impoundment located North of the Service Road. The burn will take one day to complete. All trails and parking areas will remain open during this prescribed burn. However, the Service Road will be closed to all access north of D-Dike for the entire day. Smoke from the burn may be visible in and around the Chincoteague area. Take additional care if you are driving in smoky areas - reduce your speed and turn on your headlights.

Map and Details (pdf 863KB)

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