News Release

Assateague Island National Seashore is Beginning to Increase Recreational Access to Beaches and Nature Trails

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Date: May 17, 2020
Contact: Liz Davis

Berlin, MD – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Assateague Island National Seashore is increasing recreational access to beaches and nature trails. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to gradually increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning May 17, 2020 at 9:30 AM, Assateague Island National Seashore will restore access to:  

  • Recreational beaches, parking areas and restrooms at North Beach, South Beach, Ferry Landing and Bayside Peninsula
  • The Maryland District Over Sand Vehicle Zone (OSV)
  • Nature trails in the Maryland District

With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:

  • Assateague Island National Seashore Visitor Center in the Maryland District and the Toms Cove Visitor Center in the Virginia District

  • All front country and backcountry campgrounds

While most outdoor areas will be accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased in and visitor services will be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, maximize physical distance from each other, avoid crowding in all areas, limit gatherings to less than 10 individuals and practice Leave No Trace principles. 

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Sick or vulnerable individuals should stay home. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.  

For people who are still home schooling or not traveling at this time check out the amazing virtual tours at Find Your “Virtual” Park! Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on our website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Last updated: May 17, 2020

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7206 National Seashore Lane
Berlin, MD 21811


410 641-1441

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