assateague state park

Assateague State Park: Explore Maryland

Welcome to Assateague State Park, a breathtaking destination in Maryland that is sure to captivate nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers. Situated along the coast, this park offers a unique blend of pristine beaches, diverse wildlife, and a vibrant ecosystem. From exploring the sandy shores to witnessing the majestic wild horses, Assateague State Park is the perfect getaway for those seeking an immersive nature experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Assateague State Park is a stunning coastal destination in Maryland.
  • Visitors can enjoy pristine beaches, diverse wildlife, and a vibrant ecosystem.
  • The park is famous for its wild horses, which roam freely throughout the area.
  • Activities include hiking, beachcombing, bird watching, and camping.
  • Assateague State Park provides an opportunity to explore a unique and beautiful natural environment.

Essential Information

assateague island state park

When planning a visit to Assateague State Park, it is important to have all the essential information to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Located at 7307 Stephen Decatur Hwy, Berlin, MD, Assateague State Park is managed by Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources. The park offers 2 miles of scenic ocean beaches, where visitors can indulge in activities such as swimming, beachcombing, surfing, and fishing.

On the bayside of Assateague State Park, there are additional recreational opportunities, including a boat ramp, fishing pier, canoeing, and kayaking. Whether you love the thrill of casting a line or prefer exploring the calm waters on a kayak, the park has something for everyone. Please note that admission fees apply, and the park is open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM every day.

Plan your visit to Assateague State Park by considering the park’s location, opening hours, and available activities. This way, you can make the most of your time at this beautiful coastal destination in Maryland.

Visitor Information

Location 7307 Stephen Decatur Hwy, Berlin, MD
Opening Hours 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Admission Fees Apply
  • Swimming
  • Beachcombing
  • Surfing
  • Fishing
  • Boat ramp
  • Fishing pier
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking

Park Highlights

Assateague State Park is famous for its diverse wildlife and unique coastal environment. Visitors can witness the beauty of nature and experience close encounters with wild horses that roam freely throughout the park. These majestic animals are a sight to behold and contribute to the park’s rich ecosystem.

Besides the wild horses, Assateague State Park is also home to a wide variety of other wildlife. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the numerous species of birds that can be spotted within the park. Additionally, visitors may have the chance to see deer and marine life thriving in the coastal bays surrounding the park. The park’s pristine beaches and sand dunes further add to its natural splendor.

Exploring Assateague State Park means immersing yourself in a vibrant and dynamic ecosystem. From the iconic wild horses to its diverse wildlife and picturesque landscapes, the park showcases the beauty and importance of nature conservation. Visitors can enjoy observing wildlife from a distance, capturing breathtaking photographs, and gaining a deeper appreciation for the wonders of the natural world.

Wildlife at Assateague State Park

The park’s wildlife is varied and abundant, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Here are some of the notable species that can be found at Assateague State Park:

  • Wild horses (Equus ferus)
  • Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus)
  • Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
  • Sandpipers (family Scolopacidae)
  • White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
  • Blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus)
  • Dolphins (family Delphinidae)

These are just a few examples of the fascinating wildlife that can be encountered at Assateague State Park. Visitors are encouraged to explore the park with a sense of wonder and respect for the natural environment, ensuring the preservation of this unique ecosystem for generations to come.


bird watching at Assateague State Park

Assateague State Park offers a range of activities to suit every outdoor enthusiast. Whether you enjoy hiking, beach activities, or bird watching, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this picturesque park.

Hiking Trails

Explore the diverse landscapes of Assateague State Park by embarking on one of its many hiking trails. These trails will take you through salt marshes, maritime forests, and scenic dunes, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty. Some popular hiking trails include:

  • Marsh View Trail: This trail offers stunning views of the marshland and is perfect for bird watching.
  • Life of the Forest Trail: Experience the wonders of the maritime forest as you hike through this serene trail.
  • Dunes Nature Trail: Discover the unique ecosystem of the sand dunes and spot wildlife along the way.

Beach Activities

The pristine beaches of Assateague State Park provide a perfect setting for a variety of activities. Whether you want to swim in the crystal-clear waters, soak up the sun on the sandy shores, or go beachcombing for seashells, the beach offers endless opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment. Fishing enthusiasts can try their luck from the shore, while surfers can catch the waves.

Bird Watching

Assateague State Park is a haven for bird watchers, with its diverse range of avian species. Grab your binoculars and explore the park’s different habitats, such as the beach, marshes, and forests, to spot a variety of birds. Look out for herons, egrets, ospreys, and even bald eagles as you wander through the park’s scenic trails.


camping at assateague state park

One of the key attractions of Assateague State Park is its camping facilities, providing visitors with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Assateague Island. Camping at Assateague State Park allows you to fully experience the coastal environment, with the sound of the ocean as a backdrop and the possibility of pony sightings.

Assateague State Park offers a range of camping options to suit different preferences and needs. The park has campsites for tents and RVs, providing amenities such as picnic tables, fire rings, and access to restrooms and showers. Whether you prefer a rustic camping experience or the convenience of RV amenities, Assateague State Park has you covered.

It is important to plan ahead and make reservations for camping at Assateague State Park, as availability can be limited, especially during peak seasons. Reservations can be made online or by contacting the park directly. By booking in advance, you can secure your spot and ensure a smooth camping experience.

When camping at Assateague State Park, it is essential to follow park rules and regulations, which include proper disposal of trash and respecting the wildlife, including the wild horses. By being a responsible camper and observing these guidelines, you can help preserve the park’s natural beauty for future visitors to enjoy.

Table: Camping Options at Assateague State Park

Camping Option Features Availability
Tent Campsites Picnic tables, fire rings, access to restrooms and showers Available for reservation
RV Campsites Picnic tables, fire rings, access to restrooms and showers, RV hookups Available for reservation

Exploring the Area

exploring the area around assateague state park

Assateague State Park is located in a beautiful area of Maryland, providing visitors with the opportunity to explore not only the park itself but also the surrounding attractions. One nearby destination worth visiting is Chincoteague Island, famous for its annual pony swim and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. A trip to Chincoteague Island allows visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area and witness a unique event that has become synonymous with the island.

In addition to Chincoteague Island, the charming town of Berlin is also a short drive away from Assateague State Park. Berlin is known for its historic buildings, quaint shops, and delightful restaurants. Taking a stroll through the town’s streets is like stepping back in time, with its well-preserved architecture and a vibrant community that celebrates its rich heritage.

For those seeking more outdoor adventures, Assateague Island National Seashore, located adjacent to the state park, offers additional opportunities for exploration. The seashore is home to stunning beaches, marshes, and forests, providing a diverse landscape for visitors to discover. Whether it’s birdwatching, hiking, or simply enjoying the tranquility of nature, Assateague Island National Seashore is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts.

With its close proximity to Chincoteague Island, the town of Berlin, and Assateague Island National Seashore, Assateague State Park serves as a gateway to a variety of attractions in the area. Visitors can plan their itinerary to include a mix of beach relaxation, wildlife encounters, and cultural experiences, ensuring a well-rounded and memorable trip to this beautiful part of Maryland.

Services and Facilities

services and facilities at assateague state park

Assateague State Park offers a range of services and facilities to ensure visitors have a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re looking for information, recreational activities, or amenities, the park has you covered.

Visitor Centers

Assateague State Park has visitor centers where you can gather information about the park’s various attractions, activities, and wildlife. Knowledgeable staff are available to answer any questions you may have and provide recommendations based on your interests.

Over Sand Vehicles (OSVs)

If you’re an adventurous individual looking to explore the park in a unique way, Assateague State Park allows Over Sand Vehicles (OSVs) with the necessary permits. This gives you the opportunity to access remote areas of the park and enjoy the natural beauty from a different perspective.

Hunting Opportunities

Assateague Island National Seashore, located adjacent to the state park, provides hunting opportunities for those interested in pursuing this recreational activity. However, it’s important to note that hunting is not permitted within the state park itself. If you plan to hunt, make sure to follow all applicable rules and regulations set by the Department of Natural Resources.

Table: Services and Facilities at Assateague State Park

Facility/Service Description
Visitor Centers Information, recommendations, and assistance from park staff
Over Sand Vehicles (OSVs) Permitted with the necessary permits for unique park exploration
Hunting Opportunities Available at Assateague Island National Seashore

“The visitor centers at Assateague State Park are a great resource for visitors to gather information about the park’s attractions, activities, and wildlife. The knowledgeable staff are always ready to assist and provide recommendations based on individual interests.”

In addition to these services and facilities, there are also picnic areas and restrooms conveniently located throughout the park for visitors’ comfort and convenience. It’s important to note that open fires are not permitted at the beach, but grilling is allowed in designated areas. The park also provides accessible facilities for individuals with disabilities to ensure everyone can enjoy the natural beauty of Assateague State Park.

Park History

Assateague State Park has a fascinating history that spans over six decades. Its story begins with its establishment in 1956, when the State of Maryland recognized the need to protect and preserve the unique barrier islands and ecosystems of Assateague Island. Since then, the park has played a crucial role in the conservation efforts of this beautiful coastal area.

Over the years, Assateague Island has been shaped and transformed by the dynamic forces of the ocean, wind, and waves. These natural elements have sculpted the sandy beaches, salt marshes, and coastal bays that define the island’s unique ecosystem. The park’s history is embedded in these natural features, each one contributing to the overall beauty and ecological significance of Assateague State Park.

Today, Assateague State Park continues to be a place of preservation and recreation, where visitors can connect with nature and explore the wonders of the coastal environment. Its rich history serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting and appreciating our natural world for future generations to enjoy.

Planning Your Visit

visiting assateague state park

When planning a visit to Assateague State Park, it is important to consider a few key factors to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re interested in exploring the park’s wildlife, hiking trails, or simply relaxing on the beach, proper preparation is essential.

Season and Weather

Assateague State Park experiences different seasons throughout the year, each offering unique opportunities and considerations. The summer months are popular for beach activities and pony sightings, but they also bring high temperatures and humidity. If you prefer milder weather, spring and fall can be great alternatives. It is important to check the weather forecast in advance and dress accordingly. Don’t forget sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.

Wildlife and Safety

While Assateague State Park is known for its wild horses, it’s important to remember that they are wild animals and should be observed from a safe distance. Feeding or approaching the horses is strictly prohibited for your safety and their well-being. It’s also essential to keep a respectful distance from other wildlife, such as deer and birds, and not to disturb their natural habitats.

Additionally, be mindful of ticks and biting insects, especially in wooded areas. Wearing long sleeves, pants, and insect repellent can help protect against bug bites. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is crucial, especially during hot summer days.

Park Rules and Regulations

Assateague State Park has specific rules and regulations that visitors are expected to follow. These include keeping the beaches clean by properly disposing of trash, obeying all posted signs, and adhering to any beach and surf conditions. It’s important to respect the park’s guidelines to ensure the preservation and enjoyment of this beautiful natural environment.

Essential Items to Bring: Tips for a Successful Visit:
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Water bottles
  • Comfortable shoes for hiking
  • Appropriate clothing for the weather
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Respect and observe wildlife from a safe distance
  • Follow park rules and regulations
  • Stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun
  • Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints

By considering these factors and planning ahead, you can make the most of your visit to Assateague State Park and create lasting memories while enjoying the park’s natural beauty and wildlife.

Nearby Parks and Trails

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

Assateague State Park not only offers stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife but also provides convenient access to other nearby parks and trails for further outdoor adventures. Here are some of the nearby parks and trails that you can explore during your visit:

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

Located on Chincoteague Island, the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is a must-visit destination. With its diverse wildlife and breathtaking landscapes, this refuge offers plenty of opportunities for nature enthusiasts. Explore the refuge’s hiking trails and keep an eye out for migratory birds, endangered species, and wild ponies that call this sanctuary home.

Assateague Island National Seashore Trails

Assateague Island National Seashore, adjacent to Assateague State Park, boasts several scenic trails that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, these trails offer a chance to discover the island’s unique ecosystems, including dunes, marshes, and forests. Keep an eye out for native wildlife and take in stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Toms Cove Trail

The Toms Cove Trail is another popular hiking trail located near Assateague State Park. This trail offers a peaceful and picturesque walk along the bay, providing views of the marshes and an opportunity to spot various bird species. The trail is relatively easy, making it suitable for all skill levels, and offers a tranquil escape from the bustling beaches of Assateague State Park.

With these nearby parks and trails, your visit to Assateague State Park can be extended to explore the surrounding natural wonders. Whether you’re seeking wildlife encounters, challenging hikes, or tranquil walks, these nearby destinations offer a variety of outdoor experiences to complement your time at Assateague State Park.

Additional Resources

When planning a visit to Assateague State Park, it’s helpful to utilize various resources available to enhance your experience. Here are some additional resources that can provide valuable information and insights:

  1. National Park Service App: The National Park Service offers a user-friendly app that provides detailed information on all national parks, including Assateague State Park. With this app, you can access maps, learn about park history and wildlife, and discover different recreational activities available within the park.
  2. Kids and Youth Resources: The National Park Service also offers a range of educational resources for kids and youth to learn more about nature, history, and culture at Assateague State Park. These resources can be accessed online and provide interactive learning experiences.
  3. Park Ranger Tips: When visiting Assateague State Park, be sure to make use of the knowledge and expertise of the park rangers. They can provide valuable tips and recommendations based on current conditions and visitor feedback. Don’t hesitate to ask them questions and seek their guidance for the best possible experience.

By utilizing these additional resources, you can maximize your enjoyment and understanding of Assateague State Park. Whether you’re looking for practical information, educational materials, or insider tips, these resources can help you make the most of your visit.

Table: Assateague State Park Resources

Resource Description
National Park Service App An app that provides detailed information on Assateague State Park, including maps, history, and recreational activities.
Kids and Youth Resources Educational resources for children and young visitors to learn more about the park’s nature, history, and culture.
Park Ranger Tips Insider tips and recommendations from park rangers to enhance your visit and ensure a memorable experience.

Make sure to take advantage of these resources before and during your visit to Assateague State Park. They can provide valuable information, enhance your understanding of the park’s natural wonders, and contribute to a truly enjoyable experience.


Assateague State Park, also known as Assateague Island State Park, is a remarkable destination in Maryland that offers a captivating coastal experience. With its breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and endless recreational opportunities, the park is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

From the iconic wild horses that roam freely to the pristine beaches that stretch for miles, Assateague State Park is a sanctuary of natural beauty. Whether you’re camping under the stars, exploring scenic hiking trails, or indulging in beach activities like swimming and beachcombing, the park has something to offer for everyone.

Located adjacent to the Assateague Island National Seashore, the park provides access to additional outdoor adventures and wildlife viewing opportunities. Nearby attractions such as Chincoteague Island and its famous pony swim, as well as the historic town of Berlin, add another layer of charm to your visit.

Immerse yourself in the wonders of Assateague State Park and discover the magic of this unique coastal haven. Plan your visit and embark on an unforgettable journey where nature’s splendor and tranquility await.


Where is Assateague State Park located?

Assateague State Park is located at 7307 Stephen Decatur Hwy, Berlin, MD.

What are the operating hours of Assateague State Park?

Assateague State Park is open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM every day.

Are there admission fees for Assateague State Park?

Yes, admission fees apply for entry into Assateague State Park.

What wildlife can be found at Assateague State Park?

Assateague State Park is famous for its wild horses and is also home to a variety of other wildlife, including birds, deer, and marine life.

What activities are available at Assateague State Park?

Visitors can enjoy a range of activities at Assateague State Park, including hiking, swimming, beachcombing, fishing, surfing, and wildlife photography.

Can visitors stay overnight at Assateague State Park?

Yes, Assateague State Park offers camping options for visitors with campsites available for tents and RVs.

What are some nearby attractions to explore?

Nearby attractions to explore include Chincoteague Island, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, and the town of Berlin.

What services and facilities are available at Assateague State Park?

Assateague State Park offers visitor centers, permits for Over Sand Vehicles (OSVs), and hunting opportunities at Assateague Island National Seashore.

What is the history of Assateague State Park?

Assateague State Park was established in 1956 and its barrier islands have undergone changes over time due to natural forces.

What should visitors consider when planning a visit to Assateague State Park?

Visitors should prepare for beach and surf conditions, weather, sun exposure, heat, and biting insects. It is also important to respect park rules and regulations.

What are some nearby parks and trails to explore from Assateague State Park?

Nearby parks and trails to explore include the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Assateague Island National Seashore Trails, and the Toms Cove Trail.

Are there additional resources available for visitors to enhance their experience at Assateague State Park?

Yes, visitors can access resources such as the National Park Service app and educational materials for kids and youth.

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