Atlantic Coast

Spreading east of town, the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest nature preserves along the Atlantic flyway, attracting hundreds of species of birds, including egrets, herons, geese, swans, and snow geese, not to mention thousands and thousands of migrating ducks. A continuation of the Assateague Island National Seashore across the Maryland border, the refuge contains thousands of acres of marshland, excellent beaches, and a number of hiking and cycling trails. The refuge visitors center (757/336-6122, daily) has detailed information on park activities as well as a small exhibit on Chincoteague’s famous wild ponies, which can usually be seen from the Woodland Trail that loops south from Beach Road.