Assateague Island National Seashore guide. Detailed guide of Assateague Island National Seashore In southeastern Maryland, near Ocean City

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Assateague Island National Seashore guide. Detailed guide of Assateague Island National Seashore In southeastern Maryland, near Ocean City

Assateague Island National Seashore In eastern Virginia, near Chineoteague; also in southeastern Maryland, near Ocean City


The 37-mi-long shoreline is one of the few protected and undeveloped barrier islands on the East Coast. This dynamic seashore environment provides refuge to wild horses, as well as abundant and specialized flora, fauna, and marine life. It was authorized on September 21, 1965.




Bicycling (rentals in park), canoeing (rentals in park), clamming, crabbing, fishing, hiking, hunting, off-road driving (permit required, see below), swimming, viewing aquariums. Facilities: 3 visitor centers: Barrier Island (Maryland district), Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, and Tom's Cove (Virginia district). Beaches, guided and self-guided tours, hiking trails. Bookstores, picnic tables with fire grills. Programs & Events: Ranger-led shellfishing and surf fishing demonstrations, beach walks, marsh walks, bay exploring, canoe trips (reservations required, see below), campfire programs and night walks (Easter-Oct.). Pony penning in Chincoteague, VA (last Wed. and Thurs., July). Tips & Hints: Bring insect repellent, screen tents, sunscreen, and sand stakes. Proper food storage strictly enforced. Bike and canoe rentals available June-Aug., daily; April, May, Sept., and Oct., weekends. No roads connect north and south entrances to Assateague Island. Busiest July and Aug., least crowded Jan. and Feb.




Camping: In the park: 153 sites scattered around the park ($16-$20; portable toilets, cold showers; closed mid-Oct.-mid.-Apr). In Berlin, MD: Assateague State Park (7307 Stephen Decatur Hwy, tel. 888/432-2267 reservations; 410/641-2918 camp office; 350 sites; $25-$35; flush toilets, hook-ups). In Chincoteague: Maddox Family Campgrounds (6742 Maddox Blvd., tel. 757/336-3111; 340 sites; $27-$33; flush toilets, showers, hook-ups). IS Hotels: None in park. In Ocean City: Dunes Manor Hotel (28th St. at the ocean, tel. 410/289-1100; 170 rooms; $189-$325). In Berlin: Holland House (5 Bay St., tel. 410/641-1956; 6 rooms; $100-$125; no room phones, TV in common area, no kids under 15, no smoking). X Restaurants: None in park. Concession stand at Maryland State Park (May-Sept.). In Ocean City: Waterman's Seafood Co. (U.S. 50, tel. 410/213-1020; $5-$8). 6 Groceries & Gear: None in park. In Berlin, MD: Bucks Place (11848 Stephen Decatur Hwy, tel. 410/641-4177). In West Ocean City: Food Lion (Rte. 611 off U.S. 50, tel. 410/213-0166).




Entrance fee: $10 per vehicle (includes entry to wildlife refuge in VA), $3 per person on foot or bicycle (MD). Ranger-led canoe trips: $20 per canoe (reservations required in person at Barrier Island Visitor Center). Backcountry camping permit ($5) required. Off Road Vehicle Permit ($70 annual, restrictions apply) required. Hunting permitted Sept-Jan., Maryland state hunting license ($45 for three days) required. No stopping along park roads to view horses. No feeding or touching wild horses. Leashed pets only in limited areas at Assateague; no pets in Virginia areas. Maryland District: Seashore open daily. Barrier Island Visitor Center open daily 9-5. Virginia District: Refuge open Nov.-Mar, daily 6 am-6 pm; Apr. and Oct., daily 6 am-8 pm; May-Sept., daily 5 am-10 pm. Visitor centers open daily 9-4.




Offshore of Maryland and Virginia: Maryland district 8 mi south of Ocean City via Rte. 611; Virginia district entrance at Chincoteague via U.S. 13 and Rte. 175. Closest airport: Salisbury (40 mi west of Ocean City, 45 mi northwest of Chincoteague, VA).




Assateague Island National Seashore (7206 National Seashore La., Berlin, MD 21811, tel. 410/641-1441 or 410/641-3030; 800/365-2267 camping reservations, fax 410/641-1099, Ocean City Visitors Bureau (4001 Coastal Hwy., Ocean City, MD 21842, tel. 410/ 289-8181 or 800/626-2326). Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce (Box 258, Chincoteague, VA 23336, tel. 757/336-6161).



Assateague Island National Seashore guide. Detailed guide of Assateague Island National Seashore In southeastern Maryland, near Ocean City