The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Assateague Island National Seashore, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.
While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, maximize physical distance from each other, avoid crowding in all areas and practice Leave No Trace principles.
As the NPS monitors and responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, we work closely with the Additional details are available at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.
Effective March 4, 2022 - In accordance with new DOI and CDC recommendations the mask requirement for Assateague Island National Seashore will be lifted effective March 4, 2022. In the event Covid-19 rates in our counties rise to high levels, mask mandates may again be implemented at Assateague Island National Seashore.
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. 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. Visit NPS Recreate Responsibly for tips to safely enjoy your visit to your national 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 www.nps.gov/coronavirus.
Canine Distemper Outbreak5-23-22: A recent outbreak of canine distemper virus has been reported in raccoons near the Bayside Campgrounds at Assateague Island National Seashore. One raccoon tested positive, and several others have shown clinical signs and staff are awaiting test results. This virus does not affect humans. However, domestic dogs, as well as other mammalian wildlife species (e.g., foxes, skunks, river otters) can become infected with this highly contagious virus.
If you are camping at Assateague Island National Seashore, please remember the following guidelines:
• Prior to visiting the park, ensure your dogs are current on their vaccines for canine distemper virus, rabies virus, and other infectious diseases that can be transmitted from wildlife.
• Keep your pets on a six-foot leash at all times.
• Dispose of trash in secure trash bins and dumpsters.
• Remove food and water sources for raccoons, including pet bowls. This will help reduce areas where raccoons can congregate and transmit the virus to other animals. Raccoons are generally nocturnal so feed dogs prior to dusk and then remove food bowls.
• Do not attempt to feed, touch or handle wildlife.
If you see wildlife in distress or behaving unusually in the park, notify Assateague Island National Seashore staff or campground hosts. If your pet comes into contact with a potentially infected animal seek assistance from your nearest veterinarian.
For more information visit: https://cwhl.vet.cornell.edu/disease/canine-distemper
BeachesThe beaches in both the Maryland and the Virginia Districts are open for normal recreation activities (swimming, walking, sitting on the beach, etc.) Please observe social distancing guidelines. Outdoor restrooms are open in Maryland and Virginia.
Strong currents may exist. We strongly recommend that visitors recreating in or near the water wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket. Visit our Beach and Surf Safety page for more information.
Summer 2022 Lifeguard Schedule
Normal hours of operation are 10 am - 5 pm
May 28, 29, 30
June 4, 5, 11, 12
June 17 - September 5: Lifeguards on duty daily
September 5-30: days and hours to be announced
Oceanside and Bayside campgrounds are open. Visit our camping page for the latest updates on campgrounds.
Ranger Station/Campground Office
Assateague Island Visitor Center (MD District)
Over Sand Vehicle (OSV) Zones
The Maryland (MD) District and Virginia (VA) District OSV Zones are currently open. OSV permits may be purchased at the walk-up OSV sales window at the Ranger Station (MD) and at the Toms Cove Visitor Center (VA). See our OSV page for more information. We appreciate your patience during this time.
Roads and Parking Lots
Parking lots in both MD & VA Districts fill up quickly on summer weekends. Expect a wait if you are coming between the hours of 11 am - 2 pm. Visitors and wildlife use the roads and parking lots. They don't always look both ways before crossing. Reduce speed on roads and in parking lots to protect yourself, other visitors and wildlife.
Maryland District - Parking lots are open.
Last updated: May 31, 2022