Assateague Island

Chances are when you were younger you had to read Misty of Chincoteague in school.  This is the story about a wild pony from Assateague Island that was bought on Pony Penning day – a yearly roundup of the horses on Assateague by the Saltwater Cowboys where the horses swim across the bay onto Chincoteague Island and sold at auction.  When I found out Assateague and Chincoteague were real places, the childhood girl inside me would not be happy until I visited!  🙂

It wasn’t until a few years ago I actually got to go to Assateague Island, which is split up into sections.  Assateague is one long skinny island – Assateague State Park and Assateague National Seashore are on the Maryland side and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is on the southern Virginia part of the island.  There is no road that goes the length of the entire island, but you can access both sides by bridges.  I have only ever been to the Maryland side which offers various forms of camping, kayak and canoe rentals, hiking and biking trails, beaches, bays and WILD PONIES!!  What’s not to love?  Well if you go in the summer, be prepared for a TON of bugs – all of the biting variety for one.  I’m not kidding, the first time I was there I hiked the “Life of the Forest Trail” and literally RAN through it because if I would stop I was immediately swarmed by mosquitos and horse flies – it was unreal!  But NOTHING was gonna stop me from seeing those wild ponies!  🙂

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