Filed under: Family Day Trips, Family Weekend Trips, Historic Places & Landmarks, Nature & Wildlife, State & National Parks
The Wild Ponies of Maryland
Just a short drive from the bustling town of Ocean City, Maryland is Assateague Island National Seashore home to Maryland’s herd of wild ponies. Unlike the wild ponies of Chincateague, these ponies roam free among the islands visitors, so you’ll need to be careful while driving the island that you keep an eye out for the pony in the middle of the road.
Assateague has a nice visitors center that houses exhibits explaining the ponies, and other wildlife that lives on the island. There are tanks with fish, horseshoe crabs and other sea creatures that are native to the area. The tank with the crabs is a hands on exhibt. So the kids were able to get an up close look at the horseshoe crab (yeah, they’re pretty alien looking)The park rangers there were very knowledgeable and happy to answer any of our questions.
There’s plenty to do besides just see the ponies on the island. There’s a nice beach with a guard station, plenty of bike and hiking trails as well. The weather wasn’t quite warm enough for swimming in the ocean, so we made our trip a quick one and just took a nice drive to take in all the wildlife. We also saw a doe and her fawn as we were watching for the ponies.
The park is well signed to remind you that the ponies are wild and though they may be close enough to reach out and touch, you’ll want to heed the warning. Ponies can kick and bite, either one of those things is enough to put a damper on your trip.
There’s so much to do in this area, that it’s well worth a camping trip to take it all in. Try Woodalls to search the area for a campground to fit your needs. Whether you’re looking for the thrill of the boardwalk or just a peaceful ride through nature, this area has it all.