• An Assateague wild horse finding shelter in the dunes.

    Assateague Island

    National Seashore MD,VA

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Assateague Island?
Assateague is a barrier island located off the coast of Maryland and Virginia. See "Maps".

Can I drive to Assateague?
There are bridges and several miles of roads for vehicle access. See "Directions".

What do people do at Assateague?
Assateague is an undeveloped barrier island. Recreational activities such as camping, fishing, crabbing, clamming, canoeing, birding, wildlife viewing, hiking, swimming, over sand vehicle use and hunting are available.

Where are the horses?
The wild horses roam freely throughout the Maryland portion of the island. The are found in the marshes, along the beach and often in the campgrounds, parking areas and roads. Feeding and petting any wild animal, including the horses is illegal. In the Virginia portion of Assateague, the horses are privately owned by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department and are fenced in large enclosures. They may be seen in the marshes along Beach Road and from the observation platform on the Woodland Trail.

Can I stay overnight on Assateague Island?
Camping is available in the Maryland portion of Assateague Island National Seashore and in the Maryland State Park. In Virginia, there are privately owned campgrounds on nearby Chincoteague Island. Motels are located in Ocean City, MD and Chincoteague, VA.

When is Assateague is open?
In Maryland, the National Seashore is open 24 hours and the visitor center is open 9 am to 5 pm 7 days a week. In Virgina, the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is open November through March; 6 a.m. to 6 p.m, April and October; 6 a.m. to 8 p.m, and May until September; 5 a.m to 10 p.m. All visitors and cars must be off the refuge by 10 p.m. unless you have been issued an overnight fishing permit or overnight parking permit.

May I bring my pet to Assateague?
Pets are permitted in the Maryland portion of the National Seashore. All pets must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times.
Pets are completely prohibited in the following areas:
- all backcountry campsites
- nature trails
- lifeguard-protected beach
- north of the State Park to the Ocean City inlet
- the entire Virginia portion of Assateague Island*

*Pets are prohibited in the entire Virginia portion of Assateague Island, even in your car. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages nearly all of the land area on the Virginia portion of Assateague Island as a National Wildlife Refuge.

Did You Know?

When you see beach foam think of egg whites! 4 kb

When you see beach foam think of egg whites! Beach foam is created when the tumultuous action of the surf forces air into the ocean water. It is similar to whipping egg whites into froth but instead of egg whites the ocean contains organic compounds that reduce the surface tension of the bubbles.