We love it here. It's a very large park, with a lot of camping options. Reservations must be made way ahead, though. It's bare bones. This is not luxury camping. No hookups. Generators are permitted during set hours, which can annoy you if you're not a generator person. Bathroom facilities are available on each loop, along with unheated showers. Well worth it if you prepare properly.
Miles, Miles, Miles of beautiful bike and walking trails. Wild Ponies. Sika deer. Did I mention wild ponies? They're awesome, but also require some prep. DO NOT leave food out, even dog food, they will walk right into your campsite and help themselves. Give them room, they're wild. Wonderful to experience and look at if you keep your distance. If you do not, it will likely end badly as they can bite and kick, and if they don't get you, the rangers will, with pricey tickets.
Great place for birding, nature photography, and beach time or fishing. The bayside offers Kayak and SUP rentals for use on the bayside. There's also some bayside beach available which is fantastic for little kids to splash and play without wave worries. It can get a bit windy here, and is sometimes unreasonably buggy on a west wind. Stock up on bug spray.
Fire rings are available at each campsite along with picnic tables. Sites are roomy and well maintained. Beach is beautiful, and it does welcome fishing. Rangers and staff are friendly and knowledgeable. There is a phone app available for identifying ponies, which is super neat.
Awsome!!!! Best beach side camping in the area. If you have never been camping at Assateague here some tips for you.
1)Bring your own shade!!! There is absolutely no shade anywhere, you camp right behind the sand dunes with the only shade coming from some bushes.
2)Horseproof all your food!!! They have wild horses roaming this island and they will go through your campsite if you leave food unprotected.
3)Book early, the campsites are released several times a year for online reservation but they go quick, good luck making a reservation for a weekend during prime season. (If anyone has reservation for the summer months and can't make it, email me please I will be happy to take over the reservation.)
Other then the beach there are tons of stuff to do on this island. There is a great break when the (surf gods allow it) to the very right of the public beach if you are facing the ocean for you surfers. Nothing crazy but you can definitely catch some small 2-3 footers.
Surf fishing is great, bring some heavy weights, you do need to cast out as far as you can depending on tide. We have caught blues, rockfish, sand sharks and rays.
If you have little ones take them to the bayside beach, very calm waters and dosn't get very deep. You can go crabbing and look for clams for dinner. They have boat rentals as well.
FYI you can bring in adult beverages unlike the state run park located right next door.
Wild horses, wide, clean stretches of beach, safe surroundings, close to town. This is the best beach camping in all of Maryland. Pros:
- the beach is wide with plenty of room to stretch out and is much cleaner than that of OC and surrounding beach areas
- the wild horses walk right up to your site!
- almost glamping- water pumps, outhouses, showers on each loop- much appreciated after days of sand, sun, and sweat
- pet friendly
- fire rings at each site, bonfires on the beach
- it's expensive! Sites average $30 per night AND each car is $20 to enter the park
- reservations are practically mandatory- they book fast with little vacancy
- this is a barrier island- mosquitos are legit. Bring bug spray with DEET. You should also expect little protection from the sun, so a canopy shelter may be helpful
- lack of privacy- each site is only several feet from the next. Take a look at the map and book large group sites or several in a loop together for friends
Many people do not realize there is a wide array of wildlife on Assateague because everyone is so obsessed with the horses. Specifically the birding on Assateague is phenomenal. Oceanside camping is very neat, but it fills up fast. The sites are close to bathrooms (I believe the national side has pit latrines). There are also showers, albeit cold. The sites are a decent size but be advised, they are completely sandy. You WILL get sand everywhere and it is unavoidable. Expect it so it does not put a dent in how wonderful the trip will be. The Oceanside sites are a dune away from the beach. Use the walkways to gain access to the beach as the dunes are protected and you will get fined for taking a shortcut. As many of the reviews advise, there are mosquitos. A lot of them. There are also biting horse flies. However catch the island on a breezy day and the breeze takes care of them. One of the best parts about Assateague is all of the activities you can do. There are bike paths, kayak rentals on the bayside, bay fishing, ocean fishing, crabbing, etc. The worst part about Assateague are all of the tourists who stop in the middle of the road to view the horses, blocking traffic and causing back ups.
Assateague is a wonderful place to backpack or car camp. It's a beyond beautiful location with great amenities and very kind employees. Just watch out for the mosquitos if you're camping bayside - you might leave looking like you have chicken pox.
We've been going here as a family for over 6 years. Its a great place to relax with less people on the public and private beaches. The wild ponies and deer are beautiful!!
This place is such a cool park. The beach is great, although definitely be wary of the mosquitoes. Especially at night.
The wild horses are really what people come for, and they are definitely worth the visit!
Great being able to take your horse and ride the beach. Great camping, riding, fishing or just walking the beach and there is wildlife of all kind. The wild horses are all over the island and have on occasion come into the campsite. Weather can be really really cold or really nice in November. (personal horses only allowed to camp on the island from Oct to April 14.) Great place to visit.
Crazy mosquitoes in the summer. As the deal with any national seashore in the summer. Sand in the toes, wild horses on the beach. Amazing!