"Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge at Assateagu" Top 5 Page for this destination Chincoteague by OnMyOwnPath

Chincoteague Travel Guide: 95 reviews and 139 photos

A Winter Visit

My latest visit to the islands of Chincoteague and Assateague came in Dec. 2002, and it was surprisingly nice for winter, with moderate temperatures (50 degrees F/10 degrees C).

It was a bit on the breezy side, but being able to collect seashells, see ponies, deer, heron, the ocean, the lighthouse, the sunset and more, more than made up for the lack of warmth.

There is a natural beauty to Assateague Island, as it remains unspoiled by commercial interests. The Chincoteague National Wildlife Reserve is located on Assateague Island and it is run by the National Park Service. They offer information about the island and surrounding area.

You approach Assateague Island via the town of Chincoteague, which takes up about 9 square miles of land, and has several motels, a campground, a few shops and places to eat (including a McDonald's) and touristy-things to do.

There are several ways you can enter Assateague Island. You can walk or ride a bike there, or drive your car onto the island. For cars driving onto the island, it costs $5 for a week's access, or $15 for an entire year.

I visited here also in the summer of 2000.

Not too many people realize that there is an Eastern Shore in Virginia. Most associate the Eastern Shore with Maryland, particularly Ocean City, which is a big tourist resort town in a similar realm to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and other beach resorts. The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, which is on Assateague Island, after you've driven, biked or walked through the town of Chincoteague, contains more than 14,000 acres of dunes, marsh, maritime forest and beach. Most of the refuge is on the Virginia part of Assateague Island, though 418 acres are on the Maryland side of the island. In addition, 427 acres consist of Morris Island, and another 546 acres make up Wildcat Marsh on the northern end of Chincoteague Island.

The refuge at Chintogeague is one of the most visited in the United States, and a large number of birds use the refuge as a feeding and resting area.

The first day I was there was rainy, but that did not dampen my spirits for being there, and after being able to see deer, birds and ponies in the refuge, and taking a exhilirating bike ride along the trails throughout the refuge, I was able to get a real sense of the place.

  • Last visit to Chincoteague: Dec 2002
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (9)

Comments (4)

  • kimberbakos's Profile Photo
    Apr 2, 2006 at 10:45 AM

    I love the pony close up in the Travelogue. We are hoping to head to Chincoteague this summer.

  • jelw's Profile Photo
    Apr 9, 2005 at 9:57 PM

    Lovely photos and good tips.

  • Keelo's Profile Photo
    Aug 19, 2004 at 2:38 PM

    Just got back from Chincoteague. I had to work there for a week. Got eaten alive by skeeters. some pretty bad driving goin on there,with all the tourist.

  • kazander's Profile Photo
    May 17, 2004 at 9:13 AM

    Happy Birthday! Wonderful page, great photos!


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