Assateague Island

Welcome to the Atlas Obscura Community discussion of Assateague Island in Berlin, Maryland. Ask questions or share travel tips, experiences, pictures, or general comments with the community. For the story behind this place, check out the Atlas Obscura entry:

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One of Maryland’s best beaches. Just south of Ocean City, it has long white sand beaches. The wild ponies are an extra attraction. They are seen everywhere in the dunes and grasslands. I have been part of an amateur radio group who has activated Assateague Island. It is a rare grid square for those seeking Islands on the air contacts. The beach is great in the summer. Bring lots of mosquito repelent. A must. Waves are moderate. Plenty of nature for nature goers. They even have an area for off roading. Permits are required. Water is cold in winter time. Best times are June through September for warmer water temps.

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Im from Virginia and went to school in the northern parts and never knew there were wild horses in Maryland. Will def have to tell my folks about this my niece loves horses. Thanks for the extra info :beers:

Yeah, these horses are wild. The big Chincoteague pony round up herds these ponies in July. These ponies obviously need to be broken. They do seem to be smaller in size. people try to feed these horses but shouldn’t. They do bite! But shooting photos of them along the road is common place. I lived in Warrenton, VA for about twenty years.

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Wow never knew any of this thanks a bunch! And I went to Shenandoah University not far away at all. Small world.

For children who like horses there are no better books than those by Marguerite Henry,
starting with Misty of Chincoteague. (And they are ponies, not horses.)


Definitely get the best mosquito repellent you can find if you plan on visiting any part of the island other than the beach. The mosquitos are more aggressive here than in the Everglades. They will swarm you night or day.

Assateague is a short drive from Ocean City MD and about 40 minutes from Rehobeth Beach, DE. There is a Maryland State Park as well as a National Park next to each other. The National Park has a beautiful visitor’s center with lots of information. Assateague Island National Seashore (U.S. National Park Service) It is before the entrance to the park, so you do not need to pay at this point. There are rest rooms and places to sit outside. Inside are many exhibits, a book store, lots of information. The park has a large beach, camping faciities, several boardwalk type walks into the marshlands., and (when they have the funding) many ranger led talks and walks. It’s really a cool place to visit with children or with your inner child. I’ve never gone to the State Park, so I can’t advise you about it. Assateague State Park Sometimes the horses are not around, but other times they walk around in a herd, especially in the parking lot and near the camp sites because they are looking for food. It is not a good idea to feed them. They are used to people, but are not tame and can bite or kick you. It’s a wonderful place to spend a day.

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I happened to be vacationing on the Delmarva one year during the annual roundup. A wrinkle the article doesn’t mention is that many of those who bid at auction for the ponies are Amish, who find the ponies (once broken) to be excellent work horses.