Kayaking Assateaque National Seashore never fails to produce an abundance of wildlife. Anyone can see one of the wild ponies in the parking lots foraging for food. Kayakers see the wild ponies in their more natural environment along the shoreline, and in the shadows of the wooded areas.
Assateague National Seashore, and Assateague State Park, are located just south of Ocean City, MD off highway 611. Summer weekends often produce a line of cars several miles long waiting at the entrance to the national park. Plan appropriately and arrive before 10 a.m. to avoid this backup.
Ferry Landing provides the best launch spot. Heading south one quickly leaves the crowds behind, even on a summer weekend. Few power boats enter this area due to the shallow water.
Slowly paddling the shoreline, entering guts and coves is the best way to explore Assateague. In mid-August our trip produced pony sightings with cattle egrets, great egrets, a flock of white and glossy Ibis, and shore birds galore. This area is a treat for anyone wishing to take their time and view birds.
For those interested in longer paddles there are several paddle in campsites maintained by the park service along the shoreline approximately 2, 5 and 7 miles south of Ferry Land. In the summer bugs will be a significant challenge to anyone camping along the shore.
For a different trip one can turn north from Ferry Landing, go under the bridge to the island and explore the sandy beaches in the state park. This area provides an abundance of shorebirds, however boat traffic north of the bridge is significant on summer weekends.
How close did you get to the ponies! That’s a great picture.