Assateague Island Camping


Assateague Island is basically a 60 km island situated off the eastern coast of Virginia and Maryland. For people who are planning for an Assateague Island camping, they can look forward to an exciting array of activities such as bird watching, biking, hiking, hunting, fishing, canoeing activity and be ready to be greeted with a herd of wild horses spread everywhere on the island.

Anyone can have a fantastic time with the different activities at the Assateague Island camping sites. Assateague Island is a National Park which was established in 1943 and has been well protected since 1962. This island is divided into two camping facilities: 1) the Assateague State Park, which is under the Maryland Parks system, and 2) the Assateague National Seashore which is administered by the National Park Service.

For those who like backcountry camping, they can experience the Assateague Island national seashore camping in the Maryland District of Assateague Island since there is no camping available in the Virginia District. Enthusiasts are given four bayside and two oceanside sites where they can enjoy a variety of camping activities; however, these sites are only available on a first-come first-served basis and a backcountry permit is required. Such permit is obtainable only during business hours from the National Park Service.

The National Park Service allows camping for the entire year at the bayside and oceanside camping grounds. Drive-in pads are available at the Oceanside and Bayside campgrounds which make it suitable for recreational vehicles as well as for tent camping and trailer camping. The Oceanside Campsite is located 100 to 200 feet from centralized parking areas. Both campsites provide picnic tables and grills. Fires are not allowed on sites without a ground fire ring. The campsites also include cold water showers, chemical toilets as well as drinking water. Electricity is also available on both campsites. The Bayside Campground, however, designates an area where there is no power generator – perfect for those who would like to experience a more primitive way of camping.

All the 350 Assateague Island state park camping sites are located on the ocean side of the island. Just like the National Seashore Campsites, the state park also provides picnic tables and fire rings. Water is also easily accessible; however, electric hook-ups are limited. The state park has designated sites for tent camping as well as for driving recreational vehicles. The state park has amenities that are not found in the national park like the flush toilets and the bathhouses, which provide hot water showers.

For the benefit of those who are not planning to go on an Assateague Island camping but are looking forward to explore the beauty of the island, it is easy to find the best accommodations from lodging houses and restaurants that can be found nearby, specifically at Chincoteague Island and Ocean City.

When camping at Assateague Island, campers are reminded to bring the following: firewood; sunscreen; insect repellent; screen tents for sun shade and insect protection; and long tent stakes to anchor tents in the sand to protect them against the strong winds of the island.

Due to its popularity, Assateague Island camping reservations are recommended especially during peak season camping, which is from April 15th through October 15th. Indeed, planning ahead before an Assateague Island camping will make the activity really worth the experience.