Famous for its wild horses, Assateague offers a secluded saltwater escape unlike anything else along the east coast.
Welcome to Maryland
Assateague Island extends from Maryland to Virginia. This site is entirely focused on the MARYLAND side of the island. We created this site to share the beauty of the island, and offer some local information to promote our businesses surrounding the parks. We’d also like to give visitors some information about planning their visit. We are NOT affiliated with the official Maryland State Park or Assateague Island National Seashore.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Assateague Island?
Assateague Island is a 37-mile long barrier island that runs from an inlet that separates the southern end of Ocean City with Assateague Island down to the northern coast of Virginia, near Chincoteague Island. There are two separate entrances to the island, and you cannot drive the entire length of the island. Visitors can access the island in Maryland by taking the Verrazano Bridge from Route 611 or in Virginia, by driving through Chincoteague Island and across Beach Road.
Looking for information about the Virginia side of Assateague and Chincoteague Island? Check out the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge for information.
Where can I find the wild horses on Assateague Island?
The horses are WILD ANIMALS so they roam the island freely. During the Summer months, due to the amount of biting insects in the marsh areas, the horses frequent the ocean side and the beaches more in the developed areas (campgrounds and parking lots near each beach access). In the Winter, many bands of horses move toward the undeveloped forest areas near the bayside to escape the harsh winds and cold weather. However, many bands do stay in the developed areas year-round, so you are still very likely to spot some horses in the off-season. While you can drive along Bayberry Drive and spot some horses, it is against park rules to stop in the road and take photos. Rangers can issue a fine for doing this, especially if you stop traffic. Our best advice if you want to slow down and enjoy watching them is to take a bike ride or long walk using the bike path during your visit. Many of the horses can be seen meandering through the campgrounds, which can only be ridden through by bike if you are not camping on the island.
How can I camp on Assateague Island?
It’s important to note that while campsites on this small island book up very far in advance, there are always cancellations. If you are flexible and have the ability to check the reservation systems daily, you will be able to come camp on Assateague at least for a night during the Summer. There is only camping available on the Maryland side of Assateague Island, and there are two separate parks here. One is run by the state of Maryland and the other is run by the National Park Service. Therefore, there are two separate campground services and two different reservation systems operating for camping on the Island. Visit the Maryland Reservations website to reserve a State Park Campground site, or visit the National Park Reservation system to book a site on the National Seashore side of the island.
For specific questions about the parks hours of operations and current closures, and the most up to date information, please visit the official websites for the Assateague Maryland State Park or the Assateague Island National Seashore.