August 4 is Great American Outdoors Act Day, and admission to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge will be free for everyone all day in celebration. Many know Chincoteague Island for its beautiful beach and wild ponies. However, it also features incredible hiking trails and a variety of important wildlife. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to immerse yourself into our little paradise as part of this special event!
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge & Assateague National Seashore are home to educational facilities like the Herbert H. Bateman Center and Tom’s Cove Visitors Center. At these locations, visitors can learn about the wildlife and aquatic life that inhabit the area in and around the island. It is also home to trails of different lengths and difficulty levels. Check out this list of trails to help you plan your trip, and consider adding the Lighthouse Trail to your list of adventures!
The Lighthouse Trail is a short .25 mile hike, and there is a handicap accessible route across from the Bateman Center. The prize at the end of the Lighthouse Trail is the Assateague Lighthouse, which is now open from 10am to 3pm on Saturdays through September 2. Visitors may climb to the top of this historic landmark and look out over the refuge. This is an excellent place to look for wildlife including Chincoteague’s famous ponies! The inside of the lighthouse is just as beautiful as the outside. Its elegant staircase and masonry work provide a gorgeous location for family photos. Please keep the following important details in mind: Climbing is on a first come-first served basis. Weather can impact access due to safety concerns. Visitors should bring lots of very good bug spray (the mosquitoes are particularly bad on this trail and will carry you away!) and wear comfortable walking shoes. Admission to the lighthouse is free, but donations are appreciated.
Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, and More!
Adventures on the refuge are not complete without snacks and hearty meals for the whole family! Gear up for your day or treat yourself to locally grown delights after your outdoor adventures at White Raven’s Nest on Maddox Boulevard. The roadside farmers market offers a famous cider in a variety of flavors that keeps customers returning to restock on a regular basis. Their multiple flavors of cream soda are perfect for guests who need a little pick me up on a hot summer day. Stock up on produce, jams, honey, meat, seafood, and everything your family could desire for the remainder of your trip. White Raven’s Nest is also known for fresh baked goods including pies and bagels. Stop by and purchase all of the ingredients you need to create a lox (or smoked salmon) bagel!
As an added bonus, animal lovers will enjoy feeding and petting the goats behind their shop. Traffic flows in one direction around their location, so watch for the signs around the entrance and exit.
We hope you will join us for multiple days of adventure on the island this summer! There is something new to experience every day on the refuge. Bring your sunscreen, bug spray, comfortable walking shoes, and a camera–you will make memories you will treasure for years to come.
Call us at (757) 336-5511 to start your adventure on Chincoteague Island today!