Things To Do

Discover the Possibilities at Assateague

First-time visitors should stop at the visitor centers to see exhibits and obtain information about the many recreational activities and natural features in the seashore. Seasonally, a wide variety of guided programs can be enjoyed to enhance your visit.


A great way to explore the island!
Cyclists may travel to Assateague over a bicycle-pedstrian bridge and follow a paved bike path along Bayberry Drive through 4 miles of island habitat.
A paved path leads bicycles from Chincoteague to Assateague. Enjoy these paths, too!
Wildlife Loop - 3 1/4 mile loop
Woodland Trail - 1 1/2 mile loop
Swan Cove Trail - 1/2 mile
Black Duck Marsh Trail - 1 mile


Camping at Assateague will be a pleasant experience if you plan ahead! The barrier island habitat can be harsh if you are not prepared. Camping is available only in the Maryland district of Assateague Island. Campers are reminded to bring firewood, sunscreen, insect repellent, screen tents for shade and insect protection, and long tent stakes to anchor tents in the sand and wind.


Canoeing and Kayaking
Canoes and kayaks may be launched from designated areas on Assateague. Careful consideration should be given to weather conditions and tidal currents. Rentals are available seasonally in Maryland.


Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is allowed along the beach in the Maryland District Over Sand Vehicle (OSV) Zone from October 9 through May 14. In the Virginia District it is allowed along the beachfront as well as along a limited section on the inside of Toms Cove hook, when the OSV zone is open. Please visit our horseback riding page for more information.


Over-Sand Vehicles (OSV)
There are 12 miles of beach in Maryland and a small section of beach in Virginia open to over-sand vehicles. An annual OSV permit may be purchased for $70 to $150 depending upon the type of access desired. Specific equipment is required.


Shell Collecting
Limit collecting to a gallon or less of unoccupied shells to ensure a supply for beach dwelling organisms.


Crabbing and clamming are great ways to discover the bays behind Assateague and sample some local seafood.


Surf Fishing
Surf fishing has been a popular recreational activity for generations. With a few basic tips on seasons, conditions, equipment, species and regulations, anglers can have an enjoyable experience and create a few memories. Visit our Permits & Reservations page for information on fishing licenses.


Swimming and Surfing
During the summer, lifeguard protected beaches are provided in both Maryland and Virginia districts. Surfing, surf fishing, mats and floats are allowed outside the lifeguarded areas.
For 2015, lifeguards will be on duty from 9 am to 5 pm:
May 23, 24 & 25
May 30 & 31
June 6 & 7
June 13 - September 7: Daily
September 8 & 9: No Lifeguards on Duty
September 10 - 30: Wednesday through Sunday

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