Spring has sprung and it is time to pack your bags for an epic WanderLOVE road trip to Chincoteague Island, Virginia. Once you cross our causeway surrounded by marshes that are turning greener by the day, it is time to leave the road behind and take to the trails to discover our outdoor splendor.
Warmer temperatures, laughing seagulls, bald eagles, herons, egrets, turtles and other abundant wildlife are inviting reasons to enjoy a hike or bike ride on the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge where over 8 miles of unpaved trails and 6 miles of paved trails await your visit. Social distancing is natural here and a new discovery is around every turn. You might happen upon a Delmarva Fox Squirrel nibbling on a pinecone or scurrying up a tree to its nest. You might see the pair of Bald Eagles on the Wildlife Loop as they go in and out of their nest taking care of their eaglets. Have you ever seen a snapping turtle or a row of painted turtles sunning on a log?
Did we mention we have wild ponies too? Foaling season has begun, and you can spot little ones hiding between mom’s legs along Black Duck Marsh on Beach Road or in the marshes around Assateague Island that can be seen from one of the amazing and informative nature boat cruises. The Woodland Trail has a Pony Overlook Platform which allows closer pony viewing as does the Service Road walking trail. The majestic Assateague Lighthouse, originally built in 1833, sits at the end of Lighthouse Trail as a beacon to mariners and a sign of home to local residents whose descendants may have lived on Assateague Island.
Assateague Island National Seashore on Assateague Island, Virginia, provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities with miles of Atlantic shoreline to enjoy. Surf fishing, sunbathing, surfing, swimming, shelling, kite-flying or simply snoozing in your chair or reading a good book are activities of choice. Pack a picnic from one of our local food trucks or restaurants or prepare it in your cottage kitchen to savor as the waves roll onto the shoreline. Be careful to keep it hidden from the seagulls though — they love to snack on the beach too.
On Chincoteague Island, the John H. Tarr Bay to Beach Trail and the Historic Walking & Biking Tour take you past historic homes and by-gone businesses. Bring your own bikes or rent from one of our bike rental companies. Discover some local history as you explore our island at a slower pace. Follow the “hoofprints” of Misty of Chincoteague on the Misty Trail. Visit the Beebe Ranch where Misty lived, see her hoofprints in front of the Island Theatre, and capture your child’s photo with the Misty Statue across the street. Catch a breathtaking sunset along the Chincoteague Channel or Bay at Robert N. Reed Downtown Waterfront Park, Donald Leonard Park or Curtis Merritt Harbor. Veteran’s Memorial Park offers sunrise viewing overlooking the Assateague Channel to the Assateague Lighthouse. Find our parks in our Chincoteague Island Visitor’s Guide & Membership Directory.
Extended trails to explore are the Seaside Water Trail and Eastern Shore Loop of the Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail. Discover the marsh habitats and wonders by paddling the calm waters surrounding Virginia’s barrier islands. Rent a kayak or canoe or explore our brackish waters with a guided tour. Enjoy various species of waterfowl during spring and fall migrations along the Atlantic flyway.
Visit chincoteaguechamber.com to begin your outdoor exploration of Chincoteague Island’s trails, parks, and nearby beaches. While you are here, visit the local shops. Enjoy casual, coastal dining in an elegant restaurant, take-out deli or quaint little food truck. Once you have felt the salt air and sand between your toes, you are bound to come back for more.