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Campsite to view ponies directly on

Wyomissing...
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Campsite to view ponies directly on

What is a better campsite to get pony visitors? The State or the National Park? If the National Park, the Bay side or the Ocean side? We're looking to go to Assateague either in October or February.

Ocean City, MD
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1. Re: Campsite to view ponies directly on

The State & Nat'l Park are adjacent to each other. The weather in October is far, far better than in February - when we experience our worse weather! The ponies are wild and roam to their hearts content.

Here's a current thread: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g41298-i101-k56983…

Edited: 23 August 2012, 22:31
Wyomissing...
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2. Re: Campsite to view ponies directly on

So neither is better than another to see them then? Is there any other advantages to staying in one over the other?

gettysburg, pa
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3. Re: Campsite to view ponies directly on

Well, there are some different amenities for camping. Make sure you check out what each has and what you prefer.

For horses, I would choose the national park. Here's what happens when you drive across the bridge to Assateague (MD side). One part of the road goes straight, heading to the state park, while the other part curves right. Continue down that road for a little (maybe 5 min. or so). The state park continues on the beach to your left and along the bay to your right. Eventually you arrive at the payment kiosk for the national park. The rest of the island and driveable road is national park, and there are places to stop and walk around on both beach and bayside. We almost always see ponies at Old Ferry Landing, and this year saw sika deer between North Ocean Beach and the state park.

I guess my preference is the national park because it is more directly against the wilder parts of the island. Here is the map:

nps.gov/asis/planyourvisit/upload/parkmap.pdf

If you should choose to go and visit the Virginia district (about an hour's drive), your pass will work there as well. We drove down this summer for the first time in a few years. It is nice and a different experience to add on. Didn't see any horses there, although the birding was great.

I haven't been able to convince anyone in my family to camp, but I've heard from colleagues that camping on the beach side is fantastic. :) We have campfires on the beach each summer when we stay in Ocean City, and had the horses walk right through one year. Be aware that now people are expected to move if the horses come near you--keep a bus length between you and the horses.

Have a wonderful trip!

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Ocean City
Ocean City
Maryland
Wyomissing...
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4. Re: Campsite to view ponies directly on

Thanks! The map helps a lot. I'm from an inland state of course, and have never been crabbing. I see you can crab in in the national park.. Is there a specific time of year you need to do this or some sort of permits? Any equipment available for rent? That would be pretty cool.

I'm torn between the prospect of a flushable toilet and warm shower and being closer to the wild. Would it be incredibly inconvenient for us to try both sites?

gettysburg, pa
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5. Re: Campsite to view ponies directly on

Not at all! Camp at the state park, visit the national side. You'll have to pay the entrance fee, but it's very easy to get to. Warm showers in October are probably worth it. :)

You don't need a permit to crab in the coastal bays, and the season runs to December. I've seen people crabbing at Old Ferry Landing. Over several summer visits, I've never seen anyone who has managed a big catch at Old Ferry Landing (and I never had luck crabbing when I was a kid), but it is fun.

The official rules on crabbing. (Note that Assateague is in the coastal bays section further down the page.)

…state.md.us/fisheries/…

Some helpful hints for crabbing

http://www.atlanticbreezes.com/crabbing.htm

You might also enjoy clamming or collecting mussels. The people at the Visitors Center can give you more information on how to do this. The mussels are delicious and easier to get than crabs.

Wyomissing...
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6. Re: Campsite to view ponies directly on

Are the bathrooms on the state park exclusively for campers or for all state park visitors? We're pretty sure we want to camp on the national side (even if it means cold showers or no showers), but might venture to the state park for a shower one day (even if we rent a campsite for that privilege). That's up in the air still.

Crabbing sounds really complicated, but I think we'll check out the Visitors Center and try our luck at catching mussels.

Wyomissing...
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7. Re: Campsite to view ponies directly on

Any ideas on must-sees in the park?

8. Re: Campsite to view ponies directly on

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