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Home > Visit a Gateway > Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge
Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge - Near Cape Charles, VA
Activities: The refuge is open year-round for hikes along the half-mile butterfly trail, and the half-mile Wildlife interpretive trail that loops through mixed hardwoods and past an old graveyard to a salt marsh overlook. Climb to the top of a World War II bunker for a panoramic view of refuge marshes, barrier islands, bays, inlets, and the Atlantic Ocean. The refuge also has a photography blind that overlooks a freshwater pond.

Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the refuge, but may not use metal detectors, picnic, and collect plants, animals, or artifacts.

At the visitor center, a wildlife viewing area provides an up-close look at waterfowl, waders, and shorebirds. A “touch table” enables hands-on interaction with remnants of different refuge habitats. There’s also an  auditorium where you can see captivating wildlife videos.

The refuge works in partnership to conduct the annual Eastern Shore Birding Festival in September, when you can join a group tour of nearby Fisherman Island or a hike throughout the refuge. The festival teaches children to build birdhouses and make wildlife buttons.

You can take a tour of Fisherman Island on Saturdays from October to mid-March, but you must call ahead for reservations.

Birding and Wildlife Viewing Hiking Picnicking Hunting
Facilities: The refuge has a visitor center that includes several interactive exhibits and an auditorium, a headquarters building, trails, and photography blind and a two-lane boat ramp with access to deep water and 75 parking spaces.
Accessibility: The visitor center and refuge office are wheelchair accessible. Some visitor center exhibits contain audio or text only. Trails are flat, although not paved, and are relatively easy to navigate. The photo blind is wheelchair accessible, but the observation overlook is accessible only by stairs.

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