Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Weekend or Day Trip

Assateague Island

One of the best things about living in the Baltimore area is its proximity to so many unique and beautiful attractions.  I was able to visit one such place on a weekend away with my family this spring.  We went down to Ocean City and spent a quiet night on the beach during the peaceful lull of the off-season, and then we took the opportunity to explore the tranquil Assateague Island, just a 15 minute drive away.

Assateague has an informative little visitor center with helpful rangers and detailed guides to the geography and activities available on the island.  The main feature of the island, of course, is the wild horses.  Though it isn't clear how the horses first came to the island, they seem to have been there since the 17th century and are strong, wild, animals, surviving the extreme summer heat, mosquitos, and limited and salty vegetation that the island offers.  It really is pretty amazing to see what we commonly think of as domestic animals in a more natural environment where they form their own herds and make their own way.  The main thing to remember is that they are, indeed, wild, and should be treated as such or both their wildness and your safety are at risk.

A visit to Assateague Island could definitely be made into a long day trip, but the island offers many nice campsites that are frequented by the wild horses and other natural critters native to the area, so it is worth staying a little longer if you can.  Bikes, kayaks, canoes, and other forms of leisurely transport make for a fun way to explore the surroundings.  There are also several nice beaches for swimming and playing.

If you would like to find out more about the island you can find lots of information on their  WEBSITE.

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