Camping at Assateague Island

Camping at Assateague Island
Assateague Island is relatively close to Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. The island is home to two parks: the national seashore and the Maryland state park. Unlike neighboring beaches like Ocean City or Rehoboth, the island is all parkland. It is undeveloped and free of motels and bars. However, that also means that to stay near the island's beaches, one must camp out.

The National Park

One of the two camping facilities is at the National Seashore Park. There are drive-in campsites that permit RVs and trailers, but the facility has no hook-ups. Vehicles cannot reach the walk-in, shore area campground. In 2009, the rates were $16 per night for Oct. 16 through April 14, and $20 per night for April 15 to Oct. 15. Group sites are available for $30 per night. Reservations are recommended between mid-April and mid-October. All sites have a picnic table and grill, cold water with showers, and a chemical toilet.

7206 National Seashore Lane
Berlin, Maryland 21811
(877) 444-6777 (for camping reservations)


The State Park

Unlike the national park campground, the Maryland state park has hook-ups for RVs and trailers. There are 350 sites, arranged in loops that run off the park's main road and are close to the shore. In 2009, primitive sites cost $30 per night, and those with hook-ups were $40 per night. All sites have access to hot water bathhouses, a picnic table and a campfire site. Pets are prohibited.

7307 Stephen Decatur Highway
Berlin, Maryland 21811
Tel: (888) 432-CAMP


There are two oceanside and two bayside backcountry camping sites in the park. These require $5 permits to use, and the permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.


The main reason people go to the island is for the beach. The surf is strong and good for body surfing and boogie boarding, and sea kayaking is popular. There are also trails for hiking and biking, and the ever-popular herds of wild ponies that wander the island.

Practical Advice

It is wise to treat the ponies as if they were bears when it comes to storing food. They have no fear of man, and regularly come onto the beach to stomp open and steal bags of corn chips and other snacks. During the summer, sand flies can be a severe nuisance at camp sites, so it is a good idea to bring plenty of repellent.


Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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