Chincoteague, VA – Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge will be closed for a portion of the day on both April 17 and April 18 to allow the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company to conduct its spring health check on the Chincoteague ponies.
- On Friday April 17, the Refuge will close at 2 p.m. to allow Saltwater Cowboys the opportunity to set up and move animals into the South Corral for health checks.
- On Saturday April 18, the Refuge will open at approximately noon, opening earlier if the South Corral work is completed and ponies are released to the grazing area. However, the Service Road from the Wildlife Loop to the North Corral will be closed April 18 for the remainder of the day to allow for health check operations at the North Corral.
- While these health checks are normally available to the public to view ponies, the Refuge, in an abundance of caution and concern for the health and well-being of the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, has decided to close during this time so people won’t be tempted to congregate at the corrals.
- The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company also can conduct their activities with fewer personnel under this closure, allowing them to ensure Fire Company personnel are available to the community for priority needs.
The Refuge will continue to provide accessible outdoor recreation opportunities aligning with current federal, state and local guidelines. We urge visitors to adhere to the Town of Chincoteague’s Executive Order and CDC guidelines and stay safe.