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Friendly staff, well maintained. Signs explained what could be done instead of what not to do.
At the end of the day nothing beat waking to horses grazing in our camp. Exactly what we were hoping for.
Wish we had two weeks instead of two days.
I was really looking forward to this trip. We stayed on the Bayside of the campground. Our site was close to the bathhouse, which was modest with cold water and vault toilets. Fresh water pump was nearby, as well.
Based on the reviews, I was expecting a beach camp out with the ambience of wild horses running along the shore. Sand between our toes. Fire cooked meals. Idyllic… Sadly, that’s not at all what we got.
We arrived late to meet some friends before setting up camp. We were supposed to have dinner with the them. But dinner was delayed — VERY delayed — because of horses. A small herd of them (around 8) decided to hangout in our campsite waiting for their meal. This meant we couldn’t get ours. As soon as any food would come into ‘nose-shot,’ they would start advancing on us. We waited over an hour for them to lose interest and move on to the next site. We went through this for every meal. It became a real hassle.
It’s obvious other campers have not been so responsible with their food in this area. The standard is to hide all food as soon as you see the horses. This mean storing anything with a scent in your closed vehicle or in the “horse box” under the picnic table. With the way they would wait for us to pull food out, it was very apparent other campers allowed them to have a free-for-all previously. And no amount of noise shooed them off. If anything, it made them more aggressive and we had to watch them closely.
A little while later, we finally settled in and set up camp after having our “dinner” in the confines of our car. Dinner was snacks since we couldn’t cook anything. Placing anything on the fire or stove was like a beacon to the horses.
The next problem we encountered was the mosquitoes — they were everywhere and in hoards. No matter how hard you tried, there’s no keeping them out of the tent. We left a day later covered in bumps, most from throughout the night.
One good thing was the cooler temps meant no horseflies. On a previous beach trip, we were swarmed and covered in bites within minutes of exiting our car. Be prepared because bug spray does very little.
Let’s also not forget the “stickers” — little burr-like plant pods that are all on the ground and stuck to anything and everything, especially skin. These stung bad.
Once settled in for the night, we dealt with the wind flapping the tent pretty wildly at times, horses neighing almost constantly and coming awfully close, and two raccoons fighting on the edge of our tent. A restful night was not in the cards there.
The only good thing was the location. We were a short walk away from the beach. The kids and I at least enjoyed that part.
I was beyond disappointed and cancelled my upcoming trip for the following month as soon as I got home. I don’t know if the experience was different Oceanside, but i will never be staying Bayside again.
Great park, awesome amenities. Would definitely go back. Price is not cheap but the amenities make it worth it. Can’t wait until the zip lining courses are back open. Stupid COVID!
Bugs were crazy bad in the dog park and the moisture rich tent areas. Bring bug spray or a flame thrower.
Love this place but be prepared for the bugs. Even enjoyed this in the winter.
Assateague National seashore is a beautiful place to visit ! The beach is clean and you are sure to see the grazing ponies somewhere during your visit . We seen a group of ponies on both sides of the road as we were coming over the bridge to get into the park . Many other encounters of ponies while driving around looking for a parking spot and we even got to see them near the beach . Parking was a little hectic and seemed to be very crowded when we went. Other than that you will have a fun time most definitely!
I stayed here for two nights during the week in late April 2019.
The weather in late April was generally OK, other than the wind. The wind was so strong that none of my tent stakes would stay in the sand, and when I was finally able to secure a stake by putting something heavy on it, the wind ripped my guy rope. Brutal. I couldn't even start a campfire because the firepit was downwind and very close to my car and tent, and I didn't want them to go up in flames.
I guess the wild horses are OK, but I didn't find them particularly interesting. They are definitely not very shy--one of them stuck his nose right in my tent.
I had my dog with me at this campground--IIRC the campgrounds in this park in VA are non-pet friendly, but the campgrounds in MD are pet-friendly (but I might have that backwards, so check their websites to make sure!).
Unfortunately, we booked the same week Tropical storm Isaias blew up the coast. We had to move our camper to escape the storm surge but were able to get right back the same day as the surge moved out quickly. We will definitely be back again next year. Good camp store, lots to do for the kids here, then the Assateague Island and Ocean City are a short drive. If you decide to rent a golf cart (needed) book it at the same time that you reserve your camp spot. Very hard to get one other wise.
There are two sides. Bay and Ocean I reserved a drive in ocean front site just over the dunes. No showers, just toilets. The horses do run through the camp and on the beach so be sure to lock up your coolers. Some people in the site across from me had some uninvited guests while grilling. The horse fly bites are painful. Mosquitoes as usual-annoying. Invest in good repellents. Windy. Had to use guy lines on tent to keep from blowing over. I went in June and it was hot even with the ocean breeze. Dogs are allowed on the beach and in campsites but not on the trails. Don’t forget fly repellent for them!
There is so much to do near this campground. The bike trails are wonderful and we like to bring kayaks to the bay side. Also, the beach! Not exactly cheap but it really is a great spot. My one complaint is that you definitely have to book very far in advance especially for a summer weekend!