Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most visited refuges in the United States, providing visitors with outstanding opportunities to learn about and enjoy wildlands and wildlife.

The refuge maintains several trails for hiking and biking that offer great opportunities for enjoying wildlife, photography, environmental education, or just enjoying the beauty of the refuge.  All of the trails cover relatively flat terrain.  About half of the trails are paved allowing for cycling activity while the unpaved trails are restricted to foot traffic.

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Wildlife Loop

The Wildlife Loop is about 3 1/4 miles in length and encircles a freshwater impoundment area that attracts many species of waterfowl and wading birds.  This trail is open to hikers and bikers at all times.  Motorized vehicles are permitted on the Wildlife Loop after 3:00 PM until dusk.

 

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Lighthouse Trail

This 1/4 mile trail begins at the parking lot on Beach Road and leads through the woods to the base of the historic Assateague Lighthouse.  The trail is restricted to foot traffic only.

 

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Swans Cove Trail

This 1/2 mile trail is a branch off the Wildlife Loop that ends at the beach.  The trail allows hikers and bicyclists direct access to the beach.

Other Trails:

Black Duck Trail:  The trail is about 1 mile in length and connects the Wildlife Loop to the Woodland Trail.  This paved trail is open to both foot traffic and bicycling activity.  Wading birds, turtles, and other wildlife are plentiful along this trail.

Woodland Trail:  The Woodland Trail is approximately 1 1/2 miles in length and allows hikers and bikers a chance to enjoy the refreshing shade of a maritime pine forest.  The trail features an elevated overlook that affords an occasional glimpse of the Chincoteague ponies.

Marsh Trail:  This 1/2 mile trail is unpaved and is restricted to foot traffic only.  The Marsh Trail can be accessed from the Wildlife Loop parking lot and affords an excellent view of freshwater habitat from an elevated observation deck.

Service Road:  This 7 1/2 mile unpaved trail is restricted to hiking activity only and is accessible from the Northwest  corner of the Wildlife Loop.  Access to the beach from the service road is permitted.

Trail Map (4MB pdf)