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Assateague Island National Seashore is a protected area on a long barrier island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia. It’s known for its Atlantic beaches and for trails that wind through marshland, dunes and pine forest.
Whether you have visited this 37-mile-long barrier island or not, you probably know about its famous herd of ponies. But that’s just one small part of one of the finest seashores on the East Coast.
The 32,000 acres of marine and estuarine waters within the seashore are a protected vestige of the aquatic ecosystems that once occurred throughout the mid-Atlantic coastal region of the United States.
The seashore's habitats support a broad array of aquatic and terrestrial species, many of which are rare and have adapted to life at the edge of the sea.
Amidst the highly developed Mid-Atlantic region, the seashore's coastal resources provide unique opportunities for nature-based recreation, education, solitude and inspiration.
Running along the coasts of Maryland and Virginia, most of the Maryland district is managed by the National Park Service as Assateague Island National Seashore.
The State of Maryland manages two miles of the Maryland district as Assateague State Park. The Virginia district is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.
Assateague Island National Seashore is open year-round. Chincoteague National Wildife Refuge hours change seasonally. There is no vehicle access between the two districts on Assateague Island.
Maryland entrance fees
Foot/Bicycle: No Fee.
Vehicle: $20 - 7 Days.
Vehicle: $40 - Park Annual Pass, valid one year from purchase.
Motorcycle: $15 - 7 Days
Individual: $5 - 7 Days (per person 16 years of age or older when entering by means other than a private, non-commercial vehicle, such as taxis and limousines providing transportation only; buses carrying passengers not on a pre-packaged tour such as school groups visiting for recreational purposes; and buses or vans registered to non-profit organizations such as churches or schools. A family traveling together shall pay no more than the vehicle fee.)
Beach Parking fee upgrade: $15 - For visitors using the federal Migratory Waterfowl Duck Stamp as an entrance pass, valid July 1 - June 30 annually.
Available in Maryland and Virginia: Federal Recreational Lands Passes
Annual: $80 - America the Beautiful-National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, valid one year from purchase.
Senior: $10 - America the Beautiful-National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass, 62 years and older, lifetime.
Access: Free - America the Beautiful-National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Access Pass, permanent disability, lifetime.
Military: Free - America the Beautiful- National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands US Military Pass, active duty U.S. military and their dependents, must provide either CAC Card or DD Form 1173, valid one year from date obtained
Assateague Island Visitor Center
Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., open seven days a week, March-December: Thursday-Monday, January-February.
Mailing Address: 7206 National Seashore Lane, Berlin, MD 21811