Virginia Seaside Water Trail Launch Site: Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

Toms Cove - Chincoteague NWR

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

Accomack County

Launch area is a sandy beach on Tom's Cove, several hundred feet from parking area.  The sheltered sand beach provides a good launch point for Advanced, Intermediate, and Beginner paddlers who want to explore Tom's Cove.  This site is on the Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail...Check it out!

Launch site owner:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - 757.336.6577

Directions to launch site:

  • From US 13, East on Route 175, 10.2 Miles.
  • Left on Main Street, 0.4 Miles.
  • Right on Maddox Boulevard 1.8 Miles.
  • Continue through refuge, 3.0 Miles.
  • Stop at Tom's Cove Visitor Center and request directions to launch site on Toms Cove.

GPS Coordinates:

+37.8863 / -75.3449


Beginner Paddler Route:

paddle image 

Toms Cove

Route Description:

Launch at the sandy pull-off at Parking Lot 4, which is South of the Toms Cove Visitor Center. At Low Tide, boats must be carried a few hundred feet out to the water. The sandy beach and shallow water near the Toms Cove launch site offers semi-protected paddling for Beginners. You will see abundant wildlife, and may see Cow Nose Rays in the shallow water. Stop at the Toms Cove Visitors Center to get information on launching and current restrictions on landing along the Toms Cove shoreline.

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge - Tom

Back to Seaside Water Trail Launch Site Map


Intermediate and Advanced Paddlers:

paddle imageAdvanced and Intermediate paddlers can paddle around to Chincoteague Island, or use Tom's Cove as the start or finish point to paddle the Assateague Island Canoe Trail. Maps, backcountry camping permits, and overnight parking permits are available at the nearby Tom's Cove Visitors Center.

The National Park Service maintains the Assateague Island Canoe Trail in the Maryland section of Assateague Island National Seashore. The Assateague Island Canoe Trail runs for approximately 12.5 miles along the west side of Assateague Island. There are four backcountry campsites available to paddlers with reservations. From Pope Bay, the southernmost campsite, it is a 15-mile paddle to the Toms Cove Visitor Center and launch site. Paddlers can either start the trail from either Maryland or Virginia. For further information, contact the Assateague Island National Seashore at 7206 National Seashore Lane, Berlin, MD 21811 or call 410-641-3030 (Maryland) or 757-336-6577 (Virginia).

Print Trail Route Map

Use the PRINT command in your windows menu to save the route directions and map(s) on this page.

All route maps provided on the Virginia Seaside Water Trail web site are for illustration only. They are not intended for navigational use. To obtain a nautical map for this route, visit NOAA navigation charts.

Please check the land ownership and visitation policies map.

before your trip! Virginia's barrier islands, wildlife refuges and state wildlife management areas contain very sensitive wildlife habitat. Seasonal or year-round closures are in effect.

TRAIL MAP KEY - Please review and take along with your trail route map.

footer divider
footer divider
footer divider
Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


Some resources on this website require Adobe Reader and Flash Player, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel. If you wish to receive this content in an accessible format pursuant to Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. ยง 794 (d)), please call 800-592-5482. In addition, this website includes hyperlinks to websites neither controlled nor sponsored by DEQ or the Commonwealth of Virginia. Links may open in a new window. If you wish to receive content from a website which is neither controlled nor sponsored by DEQ or the Commonwealth, please contact the host of that website directly.

Privacy Statement | Terms Of Use | WAI Compliance | Contact Us