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Nature Trails on Assateague Island, Virginia

The Chincoteague Island National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, Virginia maintains miles of trails for hiking and biking. About half are paved while the rest are open to foot traffic only. Trail maps are available at the Herbert H. Bateman Educational and Administrative Center or you can download one here.

Assateague Tail Map

Wildlife Loop

3.25 mile loop, paved and wheelchair accessible.
The Wildlife Loop takes you around a moist soil management unit and is a great place to observe wildlife. Look for shallow waters and waterfowl in the winter. In summer, expect mudflats visited by shore and wading birds. Pause at one of the benches or overlooks for wildlife viewing and quiet contemplation. 

The trail is open to walkers and bikers all day. Vehicles are permitted to drive the loop from 3:00 P.M. till dusk. 

Lighthouse Trail

0.25 mile loop, foot path
The Lighthouse Trail takes you through the woods to the historic Assateague Lighthouse. Look for songbirds, mammals and toads along the way.

This trail is for walking only.

Swan Cove Trail

0.5 miles one-way, paved and wheelchair accessible 
Swan Cove Trail, which branches off of the Wildlife Loop, is a popular route to the beach. The trail is surrounded by shrub/thicket habitat where you may see pollinators, hearty vegetation and the occasional muskrat or otter.

The trail is open to both walkers and cyclists.

More Information

Black Duck Trail

1 mile one-way, paved and wheelchair accessible
Black Duck Trail branches off of the Wildlife Loop, providing a connection to the Woodland Trail. It’s a great place to look for turtles, songbirds and sometimes small mammals. The trail is open to both walkers and cyclists.

Marsh Trail

0.5 miles one way, foot path
The Marsh Trail is a scenic detour along the Wildlife Loop. Enjoy tree swallows, dragonflies and beautiful marsh grasses on your way to the observation platform that overlooks Snow Goose Pool. This trail is for walking only.

Woodland Trail

1.6 miles round trip, paved and wheelchair accessible
The Woodland Trail takes you through a beautiful pine forest. Look for Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrels and stop by the overlook where you can sometimes see the Chincoteague ponies. In recent years, damage to pine trees from the southern pine beetle has made this a popular place for seeing woodpeckers. The trail is open to both walkers and cyclists.

Bivalve Trail

The Bivalve Trail lies just off the beaten path of the Woodland Trail.  Look for the sign while on the Woodland Trail and you can take this self guided hike through the maritime forest leading to a section of Toms Cove where you can view the bay and do some clamming. This hiking trail is not paved or wheelchair accessible and bicycles are not allowed.

More Information

Service Road

7.5 miles one-way, gravel foot path with limited bicycle access
The Service Road offers a long-distance experience that takes you through forest, shrub/thicket and wetland habitats.  You may see songbirds, shorebirds, wading birds, or waterfowl. Plus, mammals enjoy this less traveled area, so watch for deer, rabbits, and ponies. Bicyclists can access the trail for 1.25 miles (one-way) to the D-Dike beach access area. Cars are not permitted on the Service Road with the exception of Oversand-Vehicle Permit holders who are accessing the North OSV zone for fishing purposes (between March 15 and August 31).

3335 Main Street
Chincoteague Island, VA 23336
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