Assateague Island National Seashore – (MD)


NOTE: There is a state portion and a federal park portion of the island. This post is about the federal portion.

Park Info:

  • Location: South of Delaware off the tip of Maryland. Accessible via South on 611 from Ocean City, MD.
  • Activities: Camping, Swimming, Kayaking, Hunting, Drive on the Sand (with special equipment and permits)
  • Ocean City is only 20 minutes away.

Directions on PCs: Locate the Google map below the search box on the right-hand side of this webpage. Click “Get Directions” on the map pin details.

Directions on Tablets and Mobile Phones: Locate the Google map near the bottom of this page, just below the search box. Click “Get Directions” on the map pin details.

Park Pictures:

One of the first things you are likely to see after crossing the Verrazano Bridge is ponies on the road!

If I were to sum up the entire island with one phrase, it would be “Horses on the Beach”. Feral horses run wild on the island and are not tame, nor should they be treated as such. You can be fined for feeding them or even leaving your cooler in a location that they can break into, so I would definitely recommend reading up on them before planning your trip.

Wild Deer roam the island as well

Horses aren’t the only animal to look for, as you will likely spot wild deer as well.

Swimming in the Ocean:

The Beach

The water is fairly warm if you plan your trim at the end of summer. I won’t sugar coat it though, I once had goosebumps covering my body after swimming in the water on a 90F day, so it can be pretty cold. If you are cold-blooded like me, the bayside is a lot nicer as it’s warm and lacks waves.

Some areas of the beach can get crowded especially around the lifeguard towers, but further away you can take a quiet walk on the beach.

Kayaking in the Bay:

There is a place to rent kayaks very close to the bayside camping area, Turn right twice when leaving camping loop C. The Sinepuxent bay is very warm, and calm, and a whole lot of fun to kayak through.

Several tiny islands dot the bay and make for interesting points to navigate around.

Island Walking Trails:

There are numerous walking trails around the island, and I recommend bug spray for all of them. Lots of it if the trail goes anywhere near a marsh! Once you form a heavy layer of bug repellent you should be good to enjoy the trails, many of which have wooden walkways over marshes.

Federal Camping Info:

We stayed in the Bayside drive-in camping area. Online Reservations

  • The camping sites each have a picnic table, and a grass-covered area to place your tent.
  • Hanging anything in the trees is forbidden, and you will get a ticket for doing so.
  • There is a cold shower available in the restroom buildings within walking distance from the campsites.
  • Campsites are spread out pretty good, with at least 40 or so feet between tents. A few sites have bay-side access, but most do not.
  • Horses roam freely across the island and that includes through your campsite. I highly recommend you leave your cooler and other food locked in your trunk as animals will try to get into them, and you will be fined if they do!
  • Do not approach or feed the animals. They can bite, kick and otherwise seriously hurt you!

While you are in the area, check out the Salisbury Free Zoo.

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