Assateague Island National Seashore located close to Ocean City, Maryland is one of the most spectacular places I have ever been. The Island has over 37 miles of the most amazing white sandy beaches, not to mention the best part, there are more than 300 wild ponies that wander freely through the beaches, forests and saltwater marshes.
Where did these wild ponies come from? There are many theories on how the ponies got onto the island, one of the main ones being that they were on a Spanish cargo ship that sank off the coast of Assateague and the horses swam to shore. You are encouraged not to approach the horses and just admire from a distance as they are known to be quite aggressive.
You are able to camp on the island in either a tent or an RV. There are two sections of the island, the ‘state park’ and the ‘national park’. There isn’t a massive difference between the two, in my opinion, we drove through both and actually preferred the ‘state park’ that we stayed in but it is said you may see more horses down at the national end. When we were there we didn’t have that problem, there was a small herd of 8 ponies that hung around our campsite during our stay.
We luckily were able to get a lot at the campsite when we arrived. We were unaware that there was such a high demand for places so didn’t even think to book a spot. I would recommend booking in advance if you plan to go to avoid disappointment because not everyone will get as lucky as we did.
Neither myself nor Josh had ever camped before in a proper camp site. The extent of my camping experience was my back garden. Having said that, it meant that I was familiar with pitching the tent but I had no idea what to expect otherwise. I will be uploading a post in the next few days on camping for first timers that will go into a bit more detail on the whole thing, so keep an eye out for that. Long story short the place was amazing, in each section there were indoor toilets and showers with hot water and each lot had a little barrel to light a fire in. It was so much fun and I don’t know why camping isn’t a more popular holiday option. I couldn’t recommend a visit to Assateague anymore.
I would go back in a heartbeat and for any ‘outdoorsy’ people this place will be heaven to you. There are loads of activities you can do on the island including four wheel driving on the beach, seashell collecting, swimming, kayaking, beach hiking and much more. Being able to stay among the wild horses is a unique experience that I think anyone that has the chance should without a doubt do.
Thank you for reading and I will have more posts coming about on this road trip in the next few weeks so make sure you are subscribed to emails to make sure you don’t miss out!
The Girl on the Go xx