Located within the Chincoteague Natural Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, the Assateague Lighthouse is a highlight of the Refuge. Completed in 1867, the lighthouse is listed on the Virginia Historic Register. The lighthouse was restored in 2008 and extensive repairs were completed on the gallery deck so visitors can now enjoy the view from the top of the lighthouse. Guests must walk a 0.25-mile trail to the lighthouse entrance. It’s an easy walk, with a slight incline, mostly through the cover of tall trees. You may spot some turtles or birds on your journey, too.
Kids will love to climb the 175 stairs inside the lighthouse and then walk around the observation deck at the top. There are small landing areas to rest between flights up the spiral staircase. If you have an issue with vertigo, this adventure is not for you. Bring your camera, because the height from the top of the lighthouse offers spectacular views of Chincoteague and Assateague. There are no restrooms at the lighthouse, but the Herbert H. Bateman Educational and Administrative Center is nearby and restrooms are located there.
The lighthouse is open to climbs from April through November and is closed during the winter months. Visitors can enter the lighthouse from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday from April through June. In July and August, it is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. From September through November, it is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The lighthouse is closed daily from noon to 12:30 p.m. for the light keeper shift change. Bad weather conditions could alter the lighthouse hours, as well.
There is no cost to enter the lighthouse, but a donation is appreciated.
There is a small parking area at the start of the walking trail to the lighthouse.