Hello team! So I will be camping at Assateague Island for the first time (national park side) with a group of friends and wanted to know if anyone had advice, thoughts, stories about the place. Our reservation is in early November so really the tail end of the season so I'm hoping it won't be majorly crowded. We'll set up camp but obviously interested in exploring and hiking. I've done some research from the NPS website but don't know anyone that's had first hand experience. Thank you in advance! 🏖
Hi @agraciouspearl . I've not camped at Assateague, but have spend a lot of time there. Depending upon the weather conditions, the mosquitos and the biting flies can be annoying at best, and can ruin your whole day if they're swarming. Particularly on the bay side of Assateague.
Another thing to keep in mind are the wild horses that roam the island. They have the right-of-way at all times, and while beautiful and wonderful to see, always remember that they are wild. None that I've encountered are overly aggressive, but they will protect themselves and their herd. And, much like bears, they will get into anything left unsecured. I've watched them open and rummage through people's beach bags, purses and coolers and often come out with bags of chips and other foodstuffs, not to mention scattering clothes, blankets, shoes, etc. So make sure to properly secure your food and other aromatic items...everything for that matter.
It can get pretty windy on the ocean side of the island, and windblown sand will sting more than you might think, so be prepared for that. And it's generally cooler at the beach by about 10 degrees. A light softshell jacket is recommended. Also, keep your eye on the tides. They come in farther and faster than you might think. I've had to rescue Jeeps that got stuck in the surf.
Please don't let these precautions dampen your enthusiasm. Assateague is a truly wonderful place and I love going there. I'm sure you'll love it too, as long as you're properly prepared.
Wow this is so much great stuff. We are on the ocean side and I expect it will be colder even than I think because of the time of year. What a great image of a horse carrying away a bag of chips! I'll certainly secure our stuff in the car. Thanks again for taking the time to offer your thoughts!
Me again. I remembered having seen a post from @John who has car camped at Assateague. In the event he may have missed your question, I am including him here.
This is his original post.
Here is some birding related info...