Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

We spent 5 nights (April 7th through April 11th), at Chincoteague, Virginia. We visited Assateague Island several times during our stay.

On the morning of Day 5 of our vacation (Wednesday, April 10th) we rode our bicycles from our vacation home to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, VA. It is approximately 2 miles from our Airbnb to the entrance booths. 

We followed the bicycle trail to Woodland Trail.  We rode the Woodland Trail, where we saw several wild horses in the marshland. 

Woodland Trail – Wild Ponies

Leaving Woodland Trail we took the Black Duck Trail to the Wildlife Loop.  We rode the Wildlife Loop. We saw egrets, birds and wild ponies. 

Wildlife Loop – Snowy Egret
Wildlife Loop – Red-Winged Blackbird

For the first time since 2011, when we first visited the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, we saw wild horses in the marsh, while on the Wildlife Loop. 

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies
Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies


From the Wildlife Loop we returned to our airbnb.

Crossing bridge from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island (Beach Access Road)

We rode 11.69 bicycle miles in the morning.


Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge: Wildlife Loop

We spent 5 nights (April 7th through April 11th), at Chincoteague, Virginia. We visited Assateague Island several times during our stay.

On Day 3 (April 8th) of our vacation, we drove to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. The wildlife refuge is located on Assateague Island, VA.  We carried our bicycles via bike carrier, even though the wildlife refuge is only a couple miles our Airbnb rental.

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Trail Map

We rode our bicycles on the Wildlife Loop (3.25 miles), which is open to walkers and bikers all day. Vehicles are permitted to drive the loop from 3:00 PM until dusk. We rode several trails branching off the Wildlife Loop and ended up with 6.86 bicycle miles.  We also got in a few walks, mostly to the ocean.

Black Duck Trail branches off the Wildlife Loop.

The Black Duck Trail can be used to connect the Wildlife Loop to the Woodland Trail.  On this day we rode to the Beach Access Road and back (2 miles round trip) on the Black Duck Trail.  The sign indicated that we might see Canada goose, tundra swans, black ducks and other waterfowl; deer; snakes; and songbirds.  We did see a few birds, including a Flicker, but I was not able to grab my camera quick enough to capture any photographs.  The only photograph I took, while on Black Duck Trail, was of the lighthouse.

Assateaugue Lighthouse, as seen along the Black Duck Trail
Swan Cove Trail branches off the Wildlife Loop.

Swan Cove Trail (0.5 mile one way) is a popular route to the beach.

We saw this pool of water, as we were bicycling to the beach on Swan Cove Trail.
Swan Cove Trail leads to the beach.
Continuing on the Wildlife Loop, a short distance from the Swan Cove Trail is a boardwalk trail.
The boardwalk trail leads to an overlook of Snow Goose Pool.
This is a Service Road that branches off from the Wildlife Loop.

The Service Road is a gravel foot path, 7.5 miles one-way, with limited bicycle access.  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 (OSV) Permit holders.

Public Nudity must be a problem. Otherwise, I wouldn’t think a sign would be necessary.
Bob, riding to the beach on the service road
Beach access from the service road

This was our fourth year on the Wildlife Loop, but it was the first time that we saw it via bicycle.  With the exception of the boardwalk trail, we had not been on any of the trails that branch off from Wildlife Loop.