• An Assateague wild horse finding shelter in the dunes.

    Assateague Island

    National Seashore MD,VA

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  • Tingles Island Campsite Closed until further notice

    The Tingles Island Campsite is closed to all access until further notice due to nesting bird activity.

Horseback Riding

Day use horseback riding is seasonally permitted  on Assateague Island. 29kb

Kellie Watson

Maryland
Virginia

 



Maryland
In the summer and early fall, horseback riding is not permitted in the Maryland portion of Assateague Island National Seashore due to the presence of biting insects known to spread disease, including Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), and West Nile Virus (WNV). Day use horseback riding is permitted each year from October 9 through May 14. During this period, we do not believe there is much danger for the spread of insect borne disease. While we cannot guarantee it, visitors must decide for themselves whether the level of risk is acceptable.

Entry and Fees
An entrance pass is required to enter the park.

Permits
No permits are required for individual day use riders, however horseback riders are asked to check in at the North Beach Ranger Station. Horse camping is permitted October 16 through April 14 and rates are $30 per site/per night. Generators are permitted in horse camp from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Sites can be reserved reserved up to 6 months in advance. Call (877) 444-6777 or visit www.recreation.gov

Parking Areas, Check in and Access
All day use riders must park in the North Ocean Beach parking area and check in at the ranger station. Riders should lead their horses from the North Ocean Beach parking area through the old ranger station parking area following the sand road dune crossing to the top of the dune. At the top of the dune riders may then mount and ride south on the beach. It is your responsibility to clean the parking lot and riding area of any manure, hay or feed before leaving the park. Please bring a bucket and shovel to aid in cleaning the area.

Travel Routes
Horseback riding is limited to the beach in the Over Sand Vehicle (OSV) zone located 1 ½ miles south of the old ranger station. The stretch of beach between the old ranger station and the beginning of the OSV zone is to be used only as a corridor for entrance and exit by day use riders. In the OSV Zone, riding is allowed in all areas authorized for public OSV travel. Riders must stay on the ocean side of the white posts. Please take care to avoid visitors engaged in other recreational activities such as hiking, fishing or sunbathing. The only dune crossing riders may use is the sand road access leading to and from the old ranger station. Riders may not access areas posted for authorized vehicles, backcountry campsites, the back trail behind the dunes, paved roads, public boardwalks or any other unauthorized areas.

 

Virginia
Entry and Fees
An entrance pass is required for any vehicle entering the park.

Permits
Other than entrance fees, no other permits are required for individual day use riders. For more information about horseback riding call the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge at (757) 336-6122 or Toms Cove Visitor Center at (757) 336-6577 (press 2).

Parking Areas, Check in and Access
Parking with horses is authorized in parking lot #4. It is your responsibility to clean the parking lot and riding area of any manure, hay or feed before leaving the park. Please bring a bucket and shovel to aid in cleaning the area. Please bring adequate water for your horse's needs.

Travel Routes
Horseback riding is permitted in the Over Sand Vehicle Zone in the Virginia district of Assateague Island. This area is subject to intermittent closures due to migratory bird nesting. Please refer to the Virginia District Horseback Riding map for details. In the OSV zone, riding is permitted in all areas authorized for public OSV travel. Riders must stay on the ocean side of the black & white posts. Please take care to avoid visitors engaged in other recreational activities such as hiking, fishing or sunbathing. Riders may not access areas posted for authorized vehicles, trails, public boardwalks or any other unauthorized area. Parking with horses is authorized in parking lot #4. Bird nesting activities may require more restrictive, interim closures. For closure updates, please call the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge at (757) 336-6122 or Toms Cove Visitor Center at (757) 336-6577 (press 2).

Did You Know?

piping plover photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service image library. 4 kb

...that instead of needing to keep her eggs warm, the beach-nesting piping plover will stand over her eggs on hot days to shade them and keep them cool.