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 love this place. It’s hard to get a spot here tho you have to book early! Water was cold the bathrooms wasn’t very clean! I stayed ocean side walk in. We park and drag all your items in for tent camping. FYI you can have a fire right on the beach!
Camping at Assateague State Park
Assateague Island is a national park located in Maryland that offers plenty of beach camping and hiking trails. I decided to camp on the Oceanside walk-in which is means that we had to walk from the parking lot about 200 ft to our camping area. They also offer camping areas you can drive up to as well as areas that are on the bayside of the beach. Our reserved spot on the beach included a fire ring and a picnic table and the perfect beginning to a great week of camping. During our time we were able to do some hiking along the 37 mile long park, kayak on the ocean, and Bay, see some wild ponys that rove the park, and enjoy the very clean facilities that the park offered. The Island is not far from Ocean City either if you wish to go to the Board walk which we did experience one night. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to camp along the water and listen to the waves hitting the shoreline however booking must be done in advance as reservations fill up very fast every season.
Ice mule Pro XL
The Icemule Pro XL was great at what it was advertised for, which is keeping items cold. My Icemule was able to keep all the ice in its solid state for about 16 hours while sitting on the hot beach(90+ degree Fahrenheit) before melting to ice cold water. Once melted though the water stayed ice cold for roughly 30 hours. This was great because I didn’t have to refill the ice every day. The cooler was very popular with the crowds as multiple beach goers and friends would stop and ask me where I got it as they thought the design and concept of having a wearable backpack cooler was very neat. While the cooler did its job and the design was a good concept I found that it was very heavy when filled to its max. I do not believe that ordering the Icemule XXL would be realistic based off of this. Another issue I found was that packing drinks had to be done logistically in that you would have to put drinks, then ice, then add more drinks, and ice on top of that. Instead of a normal cooler where you would pack all of the drinks then pour the ice on top. This was an issue because many of my friends wanted to add some of there drinks to the cooler after I had already added the ice. None the less the drinks still stayed cool with the coolers cooling material. As mentioned I used this product while camping on the beach for a week and then used it again while watching some fireworks on the 4th of July and while the cooler did hold up the coolers back pack straps already had torn after about 10 uses. One final thing I found unfortunate was how the cooler closed. In my personal opinion Folding the opening of the cooler and buckling it was very tedious and many of my friends who used it wouldn’t go through the trouble of closing it. A regular cooler is easy to close in seconds where this takes a little more time and work. In the end it is a good cooler if you are looking for something portable and hands free but it is not something to use if you don’t have a strong back.
At the 2 camping loops, Each site has a table and fire ring. Sites are level and have a paved area. Easy to back into. Not much as far as privacy and the bathrooms are pretty basic.
There is only one campground in then Assateague park and it's right on the beach. Get ready to get sand everywhere. Be sure to check the forecast before you go because if it gets windy you'll be sure to feel it. I visited in later October and there were very few campers but I imagine the campground fills up in warmer months. The park is small to there are just a few one-way roads leading in and out.
The campground was two loops with drive-in sites as well as walk-in sites that are more removed from the road. There are also cold water showers to help with some of the aforementioned sand.
You'll surely see at least a few ponies on your visit as well as other great wildlife. If you have the time I highly recommend taking the drive over to the Chincoteague side (about an hour) and exploring there. I rented a bike from the Bike Depot and rode it into Chincoteague for a few hours.
Plenty of places to explore. Several trails to walk or bike. Be prepared for the bugs depending on the season. Some years we've had no issues, some years the flies were bad. The mosquitos are kept at bay with bug spray are citronella candles. The closer to the ocean the better you are. Definitely bring a canopy as obviously there is no shade Oceanside. The Ponies are giant trash pandas. They're smart and can open latches so do bring bungee cords, kayak straps, or ratchet straps to lock all of your food in cases or coolers. Check out the awesome views on the bayside trails. There is an app you can use to identify the ponies. The showers are cold but at least there is running water. Bathrooms are mostly clean and just a short walk from most campsites. Each site has a picnic table and fire pit. After dusk you can do beach fires as long as they're below the high tide line so they wash out.
I spent 5 days 4 nights on the shore of Assateague. As an equestrian this was a once in a lifetime adventure. Feral chincoteague ponies everywhere you look! Both towns of chincoteague and assatesgue lean into the horse craze, they have equestrian stores, riding barns, and horse museums just about everywhere you look. During the summer there is an annual “pony swim” where the wild ponies are rounded up and swam from one island to another so they can be sold. I cannot speak from experience but from what I learned from locals this event brings in over 50,000 people. You will need to plan around this if you wish to avoid crowds, although this location seems to be heavily populated all year round, don’t let that discourage you.
Side note- the crabbing is amazing among the local marshes!
Camped here overnight, it rained which always sucks. Everything was wet and cold and sandy. We had visitors in the middle of the night, some wild ponies wanted to check out our cooler. Crabbing on the bay was successful but cooking them on the little tiny coal grill at the campsite proved more difficult than expected. It was more expensive to stay than I expected also. Camping on the beach, never again.
Great spot for a secluded and quiet experience. I have seen horses everytime I have camped here. We always go during the winter or early spring months to avoid the bugs as they are awful during the spring and summer. Do not feed or pet the horses!
It is really neat to be able to camp right on the sand dunes and by the beach but prepare for lots of wind. Check the weather a lot because the storms roll in quickly. Facilities are simple but fine enough. The stars are night sky are gorgeous if it is clear. It can get pretty cold so be prepared for that.