Assateague Island Warnings and Dangers
There is no access by road between the Maryland side of the Assateague National Seashore and the Virginia side. If you want to see the Assateague Lighthouse, go to the Chincoteague Wildlife Reserve or see Pony Penning at Chincoteague, if you want to go to the Virginia side. If you want to see ponies, go to Maryland State Park on Assateague, or see the majority of the National Seashore, go to the Maryland side. It’s more than a 50 mile drive to get from one side to the other, and you have to go back to the mainland to drive to the other state.
Bugs, Bugs, And More Bugs
The people of Assateague and the surrounding areas joke that the mosquito is the Maryland state bird. Do not even dream of going without insect repellent on your skin, clothes, gear, pets, sleeping bag, or any other surface. You will get eaten alive if you don’t take extreme precautions.
After dark, if you wear long sleeves and long pants, and make a fire on the beach you should be okay. Otherwise, stay in your tent and read a book. These bugs are blood thirsty! Besides the mosquitos, there are vicious, biting black flies. You can see the bugs moving in the shallows as you walk along the nature trail. These mosquitoes have wingspans of 1/2 inch or more, so cover up!
The main attraction on Assateague Island are the wild mustangs. When you visit Assateague, you will probably encounter some of the island’s equine residents. Remember, these horse are wild, and attempting to feed or pet them can have harmful consequences. Be safe, obey park regulations, and do not approach, feed, or touch the Assateague horses.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Assateague Island.