[[Image:Assateague pony.jpg|thumb|350px|Wild pony on the beach]]
National Seashore''' [http://www.nps.gov/asis/] is a [[United States National Parks|United States National Seashore]] that is located approximately 10 miles south of [[ Ocean City (Maryland)|Ocean City]] in [[Maryland]].
Assateague Island National Park was established in 1943. The island has 14,000 acres of beach, a forest, as well as saltwater marsh and freshwater marsh habitats. This habitat is home to migratory birds, plants, and of course wild ponies.
Their are many different theories to how the ponies got to the island; some say they are survivors of a shipwreck, but there is no evidence to support this. Others say that someone put the ponies over on the island so that they could avoid fencing laws.
Summers are generally hot and humid. It rarely snows in the winter but there is often a damp cold.
In 2010 there was a heavy snow storm, causing the horses to starve and the firefighters had to take hay to them.
Entrance fees are $3 for individuals on foot or $10 for private vehicles. Both fees are good for seven days. A $30 annual pass is available, allowing free entry for one year. The $80 National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is valid at all national parks and allows free entry for one year.
The park service allows
4x4s to drive on the beach with a seasonal permit (predominantly used by locals), which unfortunately will spoil any thoughts you had of a pristine walk on an unspoiled beach, or for that matter, peaceful, isolated beach camping. Edward Abbey would be appalled.
The Assateague Light
house was built in 1833 and is 142 feet tall, it was first lit in January 1833. On October 1 1867 A new lens was put in and it could be seen for up to nineteen miles. This lighthouse is now only open a few times a year for tours.
The wildlife and wild ponies
- Bird watching is one of the popular activity in Assaeague, but people mostly come to see the wild ponies. Their are many different theories to how the ponies got to the Island, some say they are survivors of a shipwreck, but their is no evidence to support this. Others say that someone put the ponies over on the island so that they could avoid fencing laws.
Pony Penning day- On the last Thursday in July thousands of tourist come to watch the "Saltwater Cowboys" swim the ponies from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. One of the best ways to see the Wild Ponies swim is on a Scenic Boat Tour.
On Assateague Island there are many activities to keep one occupied. First off there is the beach where many people can come to and enjoy. People can also camp on either the beach side or the bay side in the Federal part of the park. Throughout the Federal side of the park there are many feral horses, white tailed and sika deer , red foxes and many other types of animals that can be seen while on the road, beach or one of the many trails. On the bay side people can rent out kayaks and canoes, while there is off road driving to the South . Also on the bay side there are places where a person can try to catch blue crab, and many mussels .
On the last Thursday in July is Pony Penning day and an auction is held to sell wild ponies from Assateague. They do this to make sure the ponies do not over populate the island. Many tourist love to watch the auctions as well as see the "salt water cowboys" swim the herd from Assateague to Chincoteague.
Campers are permitted to bring their own alcoholic beverages. Those under 21 should be exceedingly discreet, however, as the Park Police have recently begun cracking down on underage drinking, and those under 21 caught in possession of alcohol can expect a hefty fine ($300).