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ASSATEAGUE ISLAND STATE PARK
LOCATION - The park is 8 miles south of Ocean City. Take U.S. 50 east to Maryland 611 and continue south across the Verrazano Bridge.
FEATURES - Visitor facilities are located on the north end of the island near Ocean City and on the south end opposite Chincoteague, Virginia. Over 35 kilometers of roadless barrier island beaches and marshes are located between these points.
ACTIVITIES - The state park occupies a 2-mile segment of Assateague Island National Seashore opposite the island's access bridge. Camp in the state park's 311-site campground or in one of the national park's campgrounds. Both parks have trailer dumping stations. A concessionaire operates a small camp store and restaurant during the summer. Both the national and state parks' campgrounds are extremely popular and maintain continuous and separate waiting lists. Weekends and summer holidays are particularly busy. Sometimes campers have to spend a night or more in a mainland campground before obtaining a campsite on the island. The park's flat terrain often leads to strong winds, especially during thunderstorms, so bring along long tent stakes.
The national park maintains a system of backpack oceanside campsites. For information, call 301-641-1441.
Chincoteague Bay's calm, shallow water has 3 canoe-in campsites. Reservations are necessary and campers should bring plenty of insect repellent. A canoe launch area is at the end of Ferry Landing Road.
Attend a campfire program. Go pan fishing in the ocean and swimming and boating from the ramp. Take a nature walk, go for a bike ride, and hike the trails. Some hiking trails lead to great bird-watching points. Hikers should watch for Assateague's wild ponies that roam freely over the island. Because they are wild, you're advised not to get too close or try to feed them.
Parking along the ocean can be a problem on summer weekends. Parking is usually available at the visitor center for the National Wildlife Refuge and in the Maryland section of the island. If possible, bring along a bicycle to get around from an outlying point.
Toms Cove is open for clamming between high and low tides. Boaters can launch from the public ramp at Chincoteague Memorial Park with rental boats available in Chincoteague. Large and heavily motored boats may use public launch facilities on the mainland at South Point or in Ocean City.
Tour the visitor centers on Assateague Island National Seashore. One is located on the north end of the island near Ocean City and another is on the south end of the island opposite Chincoteague. In order to get from one end of the island to the other, visitors have to return to the mainland. The national seashore offers surf fishing, clamming, crabbing, canoeing, hiking, camping, swimming, and shell collecting. The annual pony round-up and auction is held the last Wednesday and Thursday in July. For information, call 301-641-1441.
Tour Frontier Town, 4 miles south of Ocean City on Maryland 611 off U.S. 50, to see Wild West shows and rodeos from mid-June through Labor Day. For information, call 301-289-7877.
Annual events held in Ocean City include a White Marlin Festival in May, additional white marlin tournaments in August, a Saltwater Festival on Labor Day weekend, and a four-day Sunfest held in late September.
Incoming pilots can land at Ocean City Municipal 2 miles southwest of town. Rental cars are available.
Assateague Island State Park
7307 Stephen Decatur Road Route 2, Box 293 Berlin, Maryland 21811 301-641-2120
Assateague Island National Seashore
Route 2, Box 294 Berlin, Maryland 21811 301-641-1441 301-641-3030 (summers)
Assateague Island State Park on the map. How to get there and what to see in the Assateague Island State Park, Maryland. Description of the attractions of the Assateague Island State Park