Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Chincoteague Island

Must see · National Park · Wildlife Area
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge encompasses nearly 5,670 hectares (14,000 acres) of beach, dunes, marsh, and maritime forest. Before setting off a hike or bike ride, you can visit the educational and administrative center to pick up maps, study exhibits, and talk to staff. As you explore, keep your eyes open for the refuge's famous Chincoteague ponies. Fishing, clamming, and crabbing are all popular activities here; look for specially marked areas. Be sure to bring your bathing suit if you'd like to go swimming at the beach or Tom Cove. You can end your visit with a cozy campfire on the beach; pick up a free fire permit from the Tom Cove visitor center beforehand. If the weather is warm, remember to bring bug repellent. Discover how to plan a Chincoteague Island trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.
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Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge reviews

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3,036 reviews
  • The Virginia park is a beautiful park. It cost $10 to get in for the day. We had to walk over a mile to a lookout point to see the horses and we did see them, but from a distance of probably 1/4 mile....  more »
  • Visited Chincoteague Island for a couple of days of fresh air - absolutely stunning and hugely recommended. Peaceful and tranquil area, we loved our time here and I have no doubt will visit again. We....  more »
  • Of course we didn't see any ponies. It was such a fun visit anyway. We loved the lighthouse trail we did it both during the day and after sunset. The wildlands trail was closed for a hunt. The...  more »
  • As far as state parks go this is top of the line. If you're looking for nature and wildlife then this is the place for you. Lots of places to pull off and see the sights. So many different kinds of wildlife. Ponies, egrets, gulls, deer, and the list goes on. The beaches are amazing as well. One of the best family outings you can have.
  • It's never been more important to protect our wildlife refuges and protected lands. We used to go to Chincoteague when I was a kid to watch the ponies swim across...this is a unique Eastern shore refuge..with an interesting history. The wild horses...the marshes..the Bay......the ocean..the natural grasses...dunes...are all under threat. Support this place and the work being done to save our planet.
  • Wonderfully unique. The entire island is charged with natural beauty. One can have a peaceful getaway or exciting adventure.*** If you're going to see the ponies swim, watching from the water is the only way I Strongly suggest doing it. It's the best view. Not worth going, to watch from the shore (very limited veiw.) Bring your own, or rent a kayak/canoe. My girlfriend and I brought our own canoe. We paid $10 to park and $25 to launch. We had a terrific time!
  • Great beach. Nice trails and canals. Got some great views of the ponies. Make sure to visit the park visitor center some great displays and cool gifts. Ask about some of the guided tours. Well worth it.
  • This is a beautiful park. The horses are beautiful. We figured that we would have a hard time seeing them, but we saw several groups. The beach was packed. Had a great time even though we were only there for a couple of hours.

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Kid-friendly things to do in Chincoteague Island