Assateague Island is a barrier island situated just off the east coast of the Delmarva Peninsula that stretches for 37 mile, and is home to the Assateague Island National Seashore. The top two thirds of the island is in Maryland, while the bottom third is in Virginia. Your pup will love exploring this pawsome place!
The first thing to know about Assateague Island National Seashore is that dogs can only go in certain areas of the Maryland portion of the island. The Virginia side is completely off limits to dogs, even if they stay inside your car! On the Maryland side, your pup is welcome to explore certain areas of the Maryland portion of the Assateague National Seashore, including the marina, many of the campsites, and the beach! While dogs are not allowed on the lifeguard protected beach, leashed doggos are welcome to romp around on the sand and go for a swim in the ocean on all other beach areas. Make sure your pup stays on leash and always pick up any doggy debris that they leave behind. Be sure to have clean-up bags on hand, and water to share for a puptastic day in the sun and sand!
Note that other areas that canine visitors are also not allowed in the Maryland side of the island are on the backcountry campsites, nature trails, in portions of the Assateague State Park, and north of the State Park to the Ocean City inlet. If you have any questions about where your pupster can’t go, stop by the Visitors Center for clarification.
Your pooch won’t be the only critter in these parts. The Assateague Island is home to a herd of wild horses. The “Ponies,” as they are fondly referred to, may look sweet, but they are wild animals and can bite, so if you are lucky enough to see them, admire them from a distance. If you visit in the summer, you should also be warned of the peskiest of the wildlife — the mosquitoes, biting flies, gnats, and ticks. Protective clothing and repellent for you and your dog are highly recommended.
Access to the seashore can be reached through the north entrance via Ocean City, Maryland. You can find water fountains near the visitor center, as well as restrooms for the humans. Seasonally, you can purchase bottled water. You will need to buy a pass to enter the seashore, which is available as a 7 day pass for $20 and an annual pass for $40.
No bones about it, your pup will love romping in the sand on the Assateague Island National Seashore!