If you’re visiting Ocean City, MD in the near future, you should definitely consider taking a side trip to Assateague Island before you reach your final destination. This island is extra special and it has so many cool things for everyone to do, see, and enjoy, as they get away from their regular life and take a quick vacation.
While you visit Assateague Island, you’ll be able to participate in some amazing activities. There’s a recreational beach that you can enjoy if you’d like to soak up the sun while having fun with your family and friends. There’s wild pony viewing, boat tours, nature trails, lighthouse tours, the refugee trek bus tour, birding, fishing, crabbing, clamming and boating and hunting as well as guided programs.
As you can see, there are literally some amazing Assateague Island activities for everybody to enjoy and appreciate, and you have every reason to visit this beautiful place with family members, friends, and anyone else you care to take on this marvelous journey. You’ll be glad that you stopped off to experience this island that so many people fail to visit. It’s going to be a wild ride and an exciting time, and we’re going to tell you all about some of the things we mentioned in greater detail.
Have a Great Day Soaking up the Sun on the Recreational Beach
At Assateague Island, you’re in luck if you enjoy the Atlantic Ocean coastline and would like to spend time on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. This is the perfect place to enjoy having fun in the sun in the summer time and sunbathers and swimmers love this white sandy beach and all that it has to offer.
If you do plan on visiting the beach while making your way over to Assateague Island, you better make sure to get there early. The parking lot for this beach fills up really quickly, so you have to look at it as the early bird gets the worm. Otherwise you’re going to have a tough time getting a parking spot and your beach experience is going to be more difficult unless you get there as early as possible. In fact, it’s best to get to the beach before 10 AM if you want to get good parking and a good spot. If you’re looking to get there later in the afternoon, you shouldn’t come to the beach until after 2 PM because things start to open up at that point and you’ll find a parking spot and spot on the beach a lot easier.
The obvious things to do on the beach are to go swimming and sunbathing. You could also participate in shell collecting or drive around on some of the awesome over sand vehicles which are permitted in certain designated areas. You obviously have to rent them and you’ll need a permit to drive them, but that can be quickly found at Tom’s Cove Visitor Center.
Wild Pony Viewing
Viewing wild ponies on Assateague Island is one of the coolest things you’ll ever experience, and if you’ve never seen this before you’re in for an astounding treat. So many visitors come to this island strictly because they want to see the wild ponies, and the ponies have lived on this island for hundreds of years and it doesn’t seem like they’re going away anytime soon, which is obviously a good thing for everyone, the ponies included.
The interesting thing is that there is actually a fence that goes through the middle of the island separating the borders of Virginia and Maryland. It’s remarkable to know that there are two specific herds of ponies and as you can imagine, there’s one on the Maryland side and one on the Virginia side.
The Virginia ponies are owned by the Chincoteague fire department and they maintain their heard that contains about 150 adult ponies. The heard in Maryland is owned by the National Park Service and they maintain these animals and keep them fed and strong.
Hiking the Nature Trails
As you are about to learn, Assateague Island has many wonderful nature trails if you like hiking. Biking is also allowed on these nature trails as well, and you get to appreciate the natural beauty of the wildlife and the scenery in the region. Since there are several miles of trails in the area, you’ll be able to do a lot of exploring on your own, with a friend, or with a group. It’s really up to you.
The Woodland Trail is 1.5 miles that takes you directly through a gorgeous pine forest. The Marsh Trail is only a half a mile and it goes along the Wildlife Loop. The Wildlife Loop is a 3.25 mile trail that goes in a loop and it’s the ideal place to view some of the most beautiful wildlife like wading birds, waterfowl, and more. Lighthouse Trail is .25 miles and it is made up of a footpath that goes through the woods. Swan Cove Trail is about a half a mile, Black Duck Trail is about 1 mile, and the Bivalve Trail is also about a quarter of a mile.
Enjoy these beautiful hiking trails and appreciate the incredible wildlife. You’re going to love it here if you love being out in nature.
Fishing, Crabbing & Clamming
Assateague Island is very popular because of its incredible surf fishing. It’s not allowed in every area – especially the ones where lifeguards are protecting it – but it is allowed outside of these restricted zones. You have to be 16 years or older to fish and you must have either a Potomac River Fisheries Sport Fishing License or a Virginia Saltwater Fishing License. So make it a point to get your licenses in order prior to visiting so you know we’ll definitely be able to fish, crab, or clam while visiting the island.
There are many reasons why everyone should visit Assateague Island on their way to Ocean City. We’ve shared a few with you today and recommend you visit the island to find out more reasons why everybody loves spending time in this beautiful place.