Ocean City and Assateague Island

Ocean City  and Assateague Island National Seashore

The COVID-19 crisis has had a major impact on everyone’s life. At the beginning of the year, I had planned out my vacation and mini-vacation plans for the year. My plan included two trips to Assateague Island, near Ocean City. The first one was canceled when the National Park Service closed camping. The second trip I planned for next month. I hope the restrictions are released so that I can go.

In May 2019, I went camping at the seashore and a side trip to nearby Ocean city Maryland.

While it is late, I thought I would share some photos I took that trip.

Ocean City

I spent a few hours walking around Ocean City Maryland while I was there as well. The visit was the week before their spring festival which officially open the season for them. I had the boardwalk mostly to myself. Few shops were open still it was a nice afternoon.

Ocean city beach

Pre-opening weekend Beach

Ocean City Maryland life saving station

Ocean City Maryland Life Saving Station

Ocean City shop

Boggy boards Ocean City MD

Easter Sand contest Ocean city

Easter Sand building contest Ocean City

Assateague Island

Assateague Island has both the National Seashore and a Maryland State Park. The National Seashore has two sections divided at the state line of Virginia and Maryland. A fence separates the two sections. An owner of a four-wheel drive vehicle can apply for an Over Sand Vehicle (OSV) use permit. This will allow them to drive on the beach past the public swimming and camping areas. However, normal cars can not use the OSV areas.

The National Seashore has a number of beaches, nature trails and camping sites. There are seaside camping sites and bay-side sites. Most of the sites are drive in sites suitable for RV and tents. Restrooms and showers are nearby. For the adventurist there are back-country sites that requires campers to hike in or arrive by kayaks. These sites have no facilities nor water sources.

Assateague Island National Seashore

Want to live on the edge? Visit a place recreated each day by ocean wind and waves. Life on Assateague Island has adapted to an existence on the move. Explore sandy beaches, salt marshes, maritime forests and coastal bays. Rest, relax, recreate and enjoy some time on the edge of the continent.

While the primitive back-country sites does have a draw, that is not an adventure to do solo at least for me. I camped at one of the bay side camp sites in the B loop. Many of these sites are waterfront.

Be careful of the horses, They are wild

Both sections of the park have wild horses. The horses in Maryland belong to the NPS while the horse in Virginia belong to the Chincoteague volunteer fire department. Misty of Chincoteague a famous children book published in 1947 is about one of the horses of the Virginia herd. The horses in both herds are free to roam the island.

While the horses appear tame and accepting of humans they really are not. Each year videos of interactions between annoying park guest and the horse appear online with the guest always getting the bad end of the situation. It you respect that they are wild, you can enjoy the horses.

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The campsite I had was just a short walk from the Life in the Marsh trail.

Life in the Marsh Trail

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Hover over the image to see the tools to go to the second page. The numbers on the guide correspond to points along the trail.

Life on the Marsh nature trail Assateague Island National Seashore

Life on the Marsh Nature Trail Assateague Island National Seashore

A bird resting along the boardwalk of the Life on the Marsh Nature Trail Assateague Island National Seashore

A bird resting along the boardwalk of the Life on the Marsh Nature Trail

The Life on the Marsh Nature Trail is a bird watchers paradise.

Birds are in large numbers around the park

 

Assateague Island National Seashore horses

Wild Horses grazing in the wetlands near the Life on the Marsh Nature trail. Assateague Island National Seashore

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Assateague Island and Life on the Dune

One of the amazing things about Assateague Island is the variety of wildlife flora and fauna. There are three nature trails in the north section of the park, each a short distance apart. However, they represent completely different ecological zones. The Life on the Dune reminds you of a desert with shrubs and brush. My other post on the island had some photos of the dunes, here are a few more.

life-of-dunes Assateague Island

Hover over the image to see the tools to go to the second page. The numbers on the guise correspond to points along the trail.

In the 1940s a developer wanted to build luxury vacation retreats on the sand dunes that are now Assateague Island National. Seashore. The location was perfect for owners in Baltimore and Washington DC. A road was built and construction started. Mother Nature did not agree. a strong storm wiped out the building an much of the roadways.

In the 1940s a developer wanted to build luxury vacation retreats on the sand dunes that are now Assateague Island National. Seashore. The location was perfect for owners in Baltimore and Washington DC. A road was built and construction started. Mother Nature did not agree. A strong storm wiped out the building and much of the roadways.

Trees had to adapt to the winds from the ocean and the poor soil

Trees had to adapt to the winds from the ocean and the poor soil

If you have not already read it take a look at my earlier Assateague Island National Seashore post. Some great photos there too.

You can more photos on my flickr page in the Assateague Island album

About Charles W. Davis

Charles W Davis Jr. is the author of the “Subic Bay Travel and Dive Guide”, the most referenced source of information on the wrecks of Subic Bay. He is also the author of six other diving and travel books and has ghosted written a number of other books. A Freelance writer attracting clients from his own website www.charleswdavisjr.com and working on the upwork website as “Travel & Scuba Diving Specialist Have WIFI, Will Travel”. He is also a staff writer for deeperblue.com

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