Paddling Our Wild Shores

Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland and Virginia
  |  Gorp.com

Assateague is a constantly changing barrier island built by waves and storms. It is home to the famous herds of wild horses and to myriad bird species, many of which nest in the area. The Maryland end of Chincoteague Bay is ideal canoe water. The usual put-in is at the launch on Ferry Landing Road, and there are four campsites set up on the inner shore specifically for paddlers.

Several public landings outside the park are also good put-ins, and they offer crabbing and damming diversions as well. Keep in mind that some park areas are closed from time to time during bird nesting seasons, so check your itinerary with park personnel.

Kayaking is allowed at the Virginia end of the island, although this section of Assateague is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a National Wildlife Refuge so has restrictions for visitation. Stop by a visitor center for a map of put-ins and to talk with a park ranger about where and where not to paddle (Virginia District Visitor Information: tel: 757-336-6577).


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