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Hikers will not only see beautiful sand dunes but also an interesting mix of plant life including wind swept loblollies, wild black cherry, muscadine grape, and red maple.

Life of the Marsh Trail is an interpretive hike with signs explaining the area's ecosystem. If the signs don't provide enough information to suit you, the visitor centers sell guides. As you begin your hike, you'll understand why it bears the name, Life of the Dunes Trail. This harsh environment is under a constant assault from Mother Nature, yet there is plant and animal life that has adapted. Stop and read the interpretive signs and learn how to identify tracks of the ghost crab, red fox, hognose snake, and doodlebug. If you're in search of such animal sightings, the best time to hike is dusk, otherwise, be sure to bring your binoculars for bird watching. As you mostly are aware, the National Seashore is located along the Atlantic Flyway. The loop trail is a mere quarter-mile, offering sights of both dune and forest plant life. Note: poison ivy does grow along the trail. Bug repellent and sunscreen are recommended.

Directions: From Berlin, MD, Travel east along Route 376 about 4 miles turning right onto Route 611. Follow it several miles south carrying it directly to the parkland. After entering National Seashore, travel to the end of the road (South Beach) to reach the trailhead. Signage is excellent.

Elevation: Sea Level

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Difficulty: Easy

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Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland

Visitor Information

The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.