Chincoteague Refuge includes more than 14,000 acres of beach, dunes, marsh, and maritime forest. Established in 1943 to provide habitat for migratory birds (with an emphasis on conserving greater snow geese), the refuge today provides habitat for waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, and song birds as well as other species of wildlife and plants. The refuge also provides wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities such as fishing, hunting, wildlife photography and observation, interpretation, and environmental education.
BRING YOUR BUG SPRAY. I cannot emphasize this enough. You will get eaten alive without it.
One of my favorite vacations as a kid was going to see the Chincoteague Pony Swim held every year at the end of July. 2014 will mark it's 89th year. I read the series of kids books by Marguerite Henry, and even saw Misty and Stormy on the Beebe Ranch.
Every summer in July, the "Saltwater Cowboys" round up the wild ponies living on neighboring Assateague Island, and then swim them across the narrow channel over to Chincoteague. There is a parade and carnival leading up to the foul auction. They do this for many reasons, to keep the pony heard from overpopulating Assateague, to raise money for the local Fire Dept, and to raise money for veterinary care of the wild ponies. Find out more here - http://www.chincoteague.com/ponies.html
It is not free like roadtrippers says. It is if you are on foot or bike, but car is $20. If you are wanting to see the wild ponies, we recommend Assateague instead. On Chincoteague the ponies are privately owned and not free roaming. They are kept in certain areas mainly away from people in Assateague they are able to roam where they please. You will need mass quantities of bug spray if you want to hike here. We bathed in it and they still ate us and through our clothes as well. It was awful! In general this was totally disappointing to us versus what we thought we would see.
This wildlife refuge IS NOT PET FRIENDLY. You cannot even have your dog in your vehicle. We have been caught by surprise by this before.
Always check in advance on the parks website.
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Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
- Sun - Sat: 5:00 am - 10:00 pm
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