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Bicycling the Eastern Shore of Virginia

Program No. 18032RJ
The Eastern Shore of Virginia boasts pristine landscapes, unique wildlife and historic monuments. Come discover this and more as you cycle paved trails and national parks with experts.

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Protecting the Environment

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At a Glance

Explore Virginia’s gorgeous Eastern Shore by bike with a small group of like-minded adventurers for a scenic learning journey with Chincoteague Bay Field Station. Ride the biking trails of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Assateague National Seashore, travel around the Eastern Shore Peninsula to protected lands, historic sites, and quaint small towns learning about the cultural and natural history along the way.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Novice to intermediate cyclists! Cycling 11-27 miles daily (up to 6 hours/day) on flat paved or hard gravel terrain with frequent stops. Primarily biking on roads with some bike paths/lanes. Average speed 10-12 MPH. Walking one mile on uneven terrain, standing for up to an hour and climbing stairs. Participants encouraged to bring own bike. Limited rentals available.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

What You'll Learn

  • Ride Chincoteague’s well-kept paths and learn about the area’s Saltwater Cowboys and Wild Ponies.
  • Visit Ker Place, a 200-year-old home built in the Federal style.
  • Visit the Wallops Island Navy and NASA facility to learn about dune ecology at a deserted and pristine beach restricted to the public.

General Notes

PLEASE NOTE: We have limited bicycles available to rent. If you are choosing to rent a bicycle, please get in contact with us as soon as possible with the size needed. Availability is not guaranteed. The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a value-priced single room. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available. ATTENTION FOREIGN NATIONALS: Part of this program takes place on Wallops Island, which is a restricted access NASA base. In order to participate in the Wallops Island activities, all foreign nationals must complete additional paperwork at least 6 weeks in advance to be allowed access onto the base. Access is then subject to approval by NASA Wallops Island base. If you are a foreign national enrolled in this program, please contact the program provider directly at to request the required forms.
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While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our published materials, programs are typically advertised more than a year prior to their start date. As a result, some program activities, schedules, accommodations, personnel, and other logistics occasionally change due to local conditions or circumstances. Should a major change occur, we will make every effort to alert you. For less significant changes, we will update you during orientation. Thank you for your understanding.
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4 days
3 nights
8 meals
3 B 2 L 3 D
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Wallops Island
Chincoteague Bay Field Station

Activity note: Field station check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Come to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your room assignment, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to confirm when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please contact the Chincoteague Bay Field Station to find out where to meet the group.

Dinner: In the cafeteria, we’ll enjoy a family-style seafood feast! Sample local crabs and shrimp or if you choose, grilled chicken or roasted vegetables. Coffee, tea, water, and a selection of juices and sodas are available.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This is a Road Scholar Retreats program. Our programming at Retreat locations includes opportunities for interaction with members of the local community, a farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, and evening entertainment. Please keep in mind that the workshop schedule is tentative and subject to change due to weather, access, seasons, and other factors. When you arrive, you will receive an updated schedule specially tailored for that particular week. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Cycling on Chincoteague & Assateague, Hist. of Chincoteague
Wallops Island
Chincoteague Bay Field Station

Activity note: Biking about 20 miles throughout the day; frequent stops; flat, paved terrain. Standing for up to 30 minutes.

Breakfast: In the field station cafeteria, our staff will present an array of fruits, hot and cold cereals, meats, breads/biscuits, eggs, or pancakes for your choosing. Coffee, tea, water, and a selection of juices and sodas are available.

Morning: Our morning will be spent cycling on Chincoteague Island! We’ll view historical sites such as the Timothy Hill House, the oldest house on the island, which was built circa 1815. We will also ride by Miss Molly's Inn, where Marguerite Henry wrote the acclaimed story, ‘Misty of Chincoteague.’

Lunch: We’ll enjoy a picnic at Memorial Park. Weather permitting, we will be making sandwiches while we enjoy the view of the Assateague lighthouse. Build your sandwich from your choice of toppings, and finish it off with cookies, fruits, and other snacks! A cooler filled with ice water and a selection of Gatorade will refresh you after our morning ride.

Afternoon: We’ll meet with a local waterman and learn about the area's rich watermen traditions and heritage. Hear how watermen make their living off what's in season offshore. After that, we’ll ride onto Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and tour the visitor center's excellent exhibits before embarking on a journey along Assateague's many well-kept bicycle paths and limited-access roads. Spring and fall are excellent times for biking in this area. As fall begins to settle on the region, the shore and wading birds leave, making way for our famous waterfowl. You will be amazed by the sheer numbers of majestic snow geese, as well as our beautiful ducks and swans! Spring catches new birth and amazing animals reappearing after their winter's rest.

Dinner: The Eastern Shore is home to some outstanding American fare and seafood restaurants. Your meal will not disappoint at one of these fine eateries.

Evening: A trip to Chincoteague would not be complete without a visit to the award-winning Island Creamery. Enjoy a scoop of its delicious homemade ice cream and experience first-hand why this is a must-stop spot!

Trans-Peninsula Ride, Onancock, Museums
Wallops Island
Chincoteague Bay Field Station

Activity note: Biking about 25 miles throughout the day; semi-frequent stops; flat, paved terrain. Stairs at Ker Place. Standing up to 30 minutes.

Breakfast: In the cafeteria.

Morning: We will begin our ride at the Atlantic Ocean and head toward Onancock. Along the way we will make several stops at local places of interest, including the Locustville Academy. This museum still stands in the 1859 building built to educate boys and girls headed for college. It’s the lone survivor of about a dozen schools of higher learning built in the 1800s. There’s a small museum inside, operated by the Society for the Preservation of Locustville Academy.

Lunch: Lunch will be at a local seafood restaurant in Wachapregue, Virginia.

Afternoon: This afternoon we will bicycle to Onancock, which bills itself as the "Gem of the Eastern Shore." Thanks to a new generation of imaginative shop owners, it has achieved legitimate "must-see" status. Our last museum stop will be Ker Place, a 200-year-old home built in the Federal style by John Ker. Detailed finishing and vibrant colors reflect Ker's fine taste for his period. In the parlor stands a pianoforte, a musical instrument made in Vienna. On the second floor are interpretive exhibits, and on the first floor, a museum store with works by regional artists, crafters and authors. Outside are restored gardens. We will end our day in downtown Onancock.

Dinner: In the field station cafeteria, our staff will serve your dinner with options ranging from a hot meal to a diverse salad bar. Coffee, tea, water, and a selection of juices and sodas are available.

Evening: Tonight, a local group will entertain us with live music.

Wallops Island, Program Concludes
Wallops Island

Activity note: Biking 12 miles in the morning; flat, paved terrain. Field station check-out 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: In the cafeteria.

Morning: This morning we will ride from the Chincoteague Bay Field Station campus to Wallops Island, a NASA/Navy base. On the base is a very nice, restricted access beach with an intact dune system. There we will have time to explore the beach, and your Educator will help you to identify shells. NOTE: Our access to Wallops Island will depend on the security level of the base at the time, which is influenced by a number of factors independent of the Chincoteague Bay Field Station and its actions. Upon returning, check out and say goodbye. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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