If you love nature and getting out into the great outdoors then you should not miss the opportunity to check out Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island. The 14,000-acre wildlife preserve offers plenty of wildlife, a variety of trails, and miles of beach to explore.
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife preserve located primarily on the Virginia end of Assateague Island. Assateague Island is part of the Great Atlantic Flyway. The refuge was established here in 1943 to protect waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, and song birds, along with the other plants and animals of this unique barrier island habitat.
The refuge isn’t just for wildlife and foliage, however. It also offers a variety of outdoor recreation. In fact, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most visited in the country. Nature fans, birders, photographers, and hiking enthusiasts come from all over to walk its paths and beaches.
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Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is one the most unique environments on the East Coast. Laying claim to the southern tip of Assateague Island, it encompasses more than 14,000 acres of varied terrain: beach, sand dunes, maritime forest, and both freshwater and saltwater marshes. It is also just minutes from our Chincoteague Bed and Breakfast.
Guests of Miss Molly’s Assateague Island Bed and Breakfast are welcome to use the inn’s bikes to explore Chincoteage National Wildlife Refuge, which is three miles away. Once at Chincoteague, bikers have several options. The Wildlife Loop circles 3 1/4 miles around an area with moist soils and abundant wildlife. Two trails branch off from the Wildlife Loop: Swan Cover Trail leads to the beach; Black Duck Trail leads to the Woodland Trail. The Woodland Trail itself meanders through the beautiful pine forest; and lucky hikers and bikers sometimes catch a glimpse of the Assateague Wild Ponies from the trail’s overlook.
In addition to the trails that are open to bikes, the refuge has a few pedestrian only trails. 7.5 miles of service roads are open to walkers, as is the Marsh Trail and the Lighthouse Trail. Assateague Lighthouse is open daily from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; the view from the top is spectacular.
Spring is a glorious time to visit the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Chincoteague is a paradise for bird-watchers during spring and fall migration periods. Barn Swallows show up each spring, along with Laughing Gulls, Eastern Kingbirds, and Semipalmated Plovers and Sand Pipers. Bring your binoculars, or ask to borrow a pair at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.
Miss Molly’s Chincotague Island Bed and Breakfast opens for the season on February 10, 2012. Be among the first of our guests next year. Ask about our Spring Special when booking your rooms: three nights for the price of two, four nights for the price of three, and so on.