It was pouring down rain when we left the Homestead Campground in Georgetown, DE to drive to Assateague National Seashore which is a barrier island off the coast of Virginia and Maryland.  The island is 37 miles long and can be accessed by car from the top and the bottom, but there is no road to drive a car all the way through.  

TM Assateague

We entered the park near the top at the Maryland Entrance which is where the free roaming horses are located. We stopped at the Visitor Center before we crossed the Bay into the park and watched an interesting film where we learned that the horses are not fed by the NP at all, but rather survive on the salty grasses, poison ivy and tree bark and drink water from ponds on the island all day long.

Map of AssateagueAbout a mile after driving into the Maryland side of the road, we started seeing the horses on the side of the road, walking down the road, standing in the middle of the road, etc.  It was so cool!  

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The road only goes 5.5 miles into the park, so we parked the car and walked out to the beach to see the water and the sea grass.

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Assateague at sunrise

This beautiful picture is from the National Park’s website.  We definitely did not have those beautiful skies. On the way back to the Visitor Center to go down to Chincoteague, we saw a few more horses.

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Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

We were so impressed by all the horses we saw at the Maryland side of the island, we decided to drive down to Chincoteague.  To get there we had to drive back out of the park and drive 54 miles down to the Virginia Entrance.  

We didn’t see any free roaming horses after all that driving.  At Chincoteague all the horses are behind fences—even through the fields were very large.  We didn’t see any horses up close there.  There was a 1.7 mile loop called Woodland Trail where we thought we’d see some horses, so we decided to ride it on our bicycles.

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Tom was able to get this picture on his tip toes, but I couldn’t see over the weeds to see the horses.

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Definitely NOT worth the 1.25 hour drive to get down to Chincoteague!  The horses were far away, behind tall grass and and behind a fence.

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There was 1.25 miles of lifeguarded beach at Chincoteague.

Driving the 78 miles back to the Homestead Campground in Georgetown, DE was a long one as we got caught in one of those blinding rainstorms where it’s hard to see the car in front.