Personally I feel this is one of the best single or multi-day paddling trips you can do in the Delmarva area. There are campsites with outhouses on the Chicateague Bay side about every 3-5 miles and two Oceanside about every 6-7 miles. Be aware though there is no water at any back country site so you must pack in all your water or be prepared to paddle back if needed.
You have many options; starting with how many miles you want to paddle vs. how many days you want to relax. You will also have to decide whether you want the tranquility of the bay; though at times strong currents and winds may challenge you; with all its reed grass coves which create natural bird sanctuaries for the many different species of waterfowl. You will see Osprey nesting on the channel markers and turtles will often make an appearance in curiosity. Then again maybe you want something more challenging, try your hand at the surf on the Atlantic Ocean side of the island. The sandbars that lie about 75 yards off the beach and create a break that on a good day (usually September through April) will compare to those of the outer banks. Once you are past the break, enjoy paddling with the dolphins as you stare at the ponies running along the beach. Watch Pelicans dive in perfect formation as they check the breaking waves for fish. Watch for surfers and surf fisherman as Assateague is a Mecca for both, and the only way to get passed the regulated campsites and parking lots is to hike, paddle, or drive your ORV on the sand. Over the sand permits cost $70-$150. Back country passes are $5 and gas is expensive!!!
From the website "There are two entrances to Assateague Island (one is in Virginia and the other is in Maryland). Please note that vehicles are unable to cross the island from the Maryland side of Assateague to the Virginia side of Assateague or vice versa. Over 300 wild ponies wander the beaches, inland pine forest, and salt marshes. Together with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Refuge and State Park, the land and water boundaries of Assateague total over 48,000 acres in Maryland and Virginia. Assateague Island is a vital resting and feeding area for a large variety of birds and a major tourist destination for bird enthusiasts and beach traveler's from all over the world. Assateague became a National Seashore in 1965." Enjoy
From Ocean City, Md. head west on rte 50, make left on rte 611 (near Outlets) about 7 miles to Assteague Island. Over bridge bear right towards the National Park entrance, about 2 miles. After entering park $10, 7 day pass stop by the ranger station to register and give them itinerary for back country travel.
From Northeast take rte 113 south to rte 50 east, turn right onto rte 611 (near strip malls) about 7 miles to Assteague Island. Over bridge bear right towards the National Park entrance, about 2 miles. After entering park $10, 7 day pass stop by the ranger station to register and give them itinerary for back country travel.
From west take rte 50 east, turn right onto rte 611 (near strip malls) about 7 miles to Assteague Island. Over bridge bear right towards the National Park entrance, about 2 miles. After entering park $10, 7 day pass stop by the ranger station to register and give them itinerary for back country travel.
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Posted By: scgraham
- Tue Nov 25 13:10:10 EST 2008
UpsideVery nice surf fishing and sharking, staying on the beach overnight is allowed so long as you are activly surf fishing. Assateague Island is great for a weekend ORV fishing trip on the beach mixed with some decent waves for good surfing. Fires allowed on beach makes a good beach party!
DownsideLots of mosquitos so be prepared! Strict rules on the beach overnight so someone must be awake fishing unless at campsite. Very expensive whether buying campsite passes or ORV passes.