We have wonderful wildlife you can see all year round at the beach and beyond in Worcester County, Maryland.
This island is home to the famous wild ponies, as well as pelicans, egrets, ospreys and hundreds of other birds. Assateague is a wild and beautiful barrier island with miles of beach, sand dunes and marsh to explore. The wild ponies are a unique treasure of Assateague Island. Visitors often see them wandering the beaches, roadways, trails, campgrounds and marsh areas of the island. There are two separate herds of ponies on the island, separated by a fence at the Maryland-Virginia state line.
It is believed that ponies were once domestic animals, like your pet dog or cat. Today, however, these shaggy, sturdy ponies live wild. They eat dune and marsh grasses and drink fresh water from natural ponds.
Assateague Island National Seashore
You'll enjoy swimming, camping, hiking and many guided activities at Assateague Island National Seashore. To introduce you to Assateague, the Barrier Island Visitor Center features a nature film, an aquarium with a children's hands-on discovery tank, and a beachcombing exhibit. The gift shop is full of neat books and island souvenirs. You can earn a wild pony decal when you complete the Visitor Center Explorer questionnaire. Pick up a field guide to the island's three nature trails and use it on your hike; answer the questions in the booklet after completing any two of the trails and earn special badges. Open year round with an entry fee - call 410-641-1441
Assateague State Park
The State Park offers you programs, including arts and crafts, biological beachcombs, tie-dye Tuesdays, nature walks and canoe trips. During the summer months, the Park's Maryland Junior Ranger Program invites you to learn all about the island by participating in a variety of projects and adventures. Certificates and patches are awarded. Call to find out the current entry fee - 410-641-2120
Find out more:
Assateague State Park: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/eastern/assateague.asp
Assateague Island National Seashore: http://www.nps.gov/asis/
Worcester County has many fine parks where you and your family can play and explore our beautiful natural treasures. At our parks you can also find sports events, camping, entertainment, and educational programs. Download our guide to parks at: http://beachandbeyond.org/parks or visit the Parks website at: http://www.worcesterrecandparks.org
Thanks to our ecological diversity, Worcester County hosts a spectacular variety of birds, both resident and migratory -- over 350 species have been recorded. From our Atlantic coastline across the Pocomoke Forest and down our scenic Pocomoke River, we are home to pelicans and pewees, kingbirds and cuckoos, herons, harriers, and eagles.
Birding in Worcester County is a chance to experience the unspoiled wilderness which attracts, sustains and protects so much natural life. Within a radius of just a few miles exist the unique--yet easily accessible--worlds of a barrier island, a cypress swamp, centuries-old forest, tidal wetlands, and secluded fields.
Stop anywhere along the road and you'll be able to observe an abundance of birds which inhabit the immediate vicinity. State and national parks in the county offer camping, nature trails and guided tours, inviting you to share the beauty of our native landscape.
- Download the Beach & Beyond Birding checklist suitable for use on cellphones. (in PDF)
- Check eBird.com's Top 10 birding hotspots in Worcester County.
- Don't miss the annual Delmarva Birding Weekend held every April with guided hiking, paddling, and boating trips.
- Download our Birds Of Worcester County booklet to use on your phone while birding here. It has maps to some prime local birding locations and a species list.
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