In August I got to do something I have been wanting to do for a few years, and that is to camp on Assateague Island in Maryland. We camped at the State Park, next to the Assateague National Seashore. It’s just about right on the beach, and you get to enjoy the company of Assateague’s wild ponies.
This state park is very clean. Despite the occasional droppings from the ponies, the campground was very well-kept. There is a bathhouse in each loop on the campground, and those were also kept very clean. The only thing I could complain at all about is that we were there in August, and it was HOT. Being at the beach, there were no trees and no shade. But, were at the beach. You can’t expect many shade trees there. While we were there, however, there always seemed to be a nice breeze coming off the ocean, and if you had an EZ-Up or something else to provide shade, it was pretty comfortable. The campground is gated, and you are given an access code to get in. So the general public is kept on the northern part of the Island near the public beach, and the beach farther south along the camping area is mostly just for the campers. There were not many people along the beach while we were there, and it made it enjoyable.
The ponies require a little bit of diligence. Keep your site picked up. If you leave out any food, any garbage, or even a coffee pot, they will find it and get into it. We are used to camping in the northeast, and having to keep our site clear overnight to prevent visits from skunks, bears, or other critters. But the ponies patrol 24 hours a day, so don’t leave your site with anything left out. Don’t even leave a cooler with stuff in it, because they can and will open a cooler to see what treats are in it.
Nearby is Ocean City Maryland. It’s less than 10 miles away. So if you visit Assateague, you will need to take some time to go there. From the seafood buffets and the boardwalk to fishing charters, there are a lot of things to do. To the south on the same island as Assateague, is Chincoteague Virginia with more site-seeing opportunities. Our time on Assateague consisted of quite a bit of time spent on the beach, as well as a couple of trips to Ocean City (one for dinner at Phillips, and one for an afternoon fishing charter).
For more info about Assateague Island State Park, visit dnr.maryland.gov. The park is located at 6915 Stephen Decatur Hwy, Berlin, MD 21811.
I don’t have much more to say about this campground. It was camping… at the beach. What more could you want!! Check out our Assateague Island guide to help plan your trip. Enjoy some of the photos.