Visiting Assateague Island

A visit to Assateague Island, a barrier island along the shore of Maryland and Virginia, is a different kind of camping trip. Visitors enjoy the ocean, nature trails and the chance to view wild horses that inhabit the island.

Camping is only available on the Maryland side of the island with a choice of either bay or ocean camping. To avoid the local mosquitoes, the sea side is recommended as the breezes help keep the mosquitoes away. There are no hookups available within Assateague Island National Seashore, but those who need hookups can opt to camp at Assateague State Park.

The wild horses living on the island are thought to have arrived in one of two ways. It is thought that they either survived a shipwreck, or they were owned by the original settlers in the area. The hearty breed seems to thrive despite ocean storms, hot summer sun and a limited diet. It is not uncommon for campers to find horses in their campsite at any given time. Visitors are advised to keep a safe distance from the animals which, like any wild animal, can be unpredictable.

Those who enjoy outdoor activities might enjoy the four mile bicycle trail or opportunity for fishing, hiking and kayaking. Be sure to visit the Assateague Visitor Center which includes a marine aquarium, a touch tank, trail maps and an informational film about the island’s wild horses.

There is so much to see and do, visitors are sure to enjoy the unique experience of sharing their trip with wild horses while enjoying the beauty of the sea and all that a seaside vacation entails.

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