On Monday I mentioned that we were going to take the girls to Assateague Island for a quick trip. And by quick, I mean we drove down to Ocean City, MD on Sunday arriving at 4pm and we left MD on Monday at 2pm. It was very quick, but we packed the trip full of fun!
We were out the door at 7:30am for breakfast and heading to Assateague Island. We waited a few minutes for the visitor’s center to open, and I’m so glad we did! The center, while not large has a lot of information and some helpful volunteers who guided us in the right direction. They even let Sophie pick out which film to show first!
We entered the national park and drove to the bay side, which has the marsh trails and the quieter waters. We didn’t see any horses, but we did find some small shells, a few birds and lots of mosquitoes! I had bug repellent with us, but it didn’t work too well.
Next we headed over to the ocean side and there we played again in the waves. The sand and the waves are different here on Assateague than in Ocean City and we found some beautiful shells! Everyone got soaked again, but it felt so good on such a hot morning.
On our way out of the park, we finally found some horses! There were 2 nosing around a campsite:
And these two were hanging around the welcome center and the first parking lot:
We had been warned not to get too close, so even though Bella was too excited to stay in the car, she was content to watch the horses up close through her binoculars!
Our last wild horse encounter was after we had exited the park entrance. We were on the side road and suddenly had horses in the road and on either side of the car! It was amazing to see these wild animals up close:
That last picture? The horse came right up to our window! We could have put a finger out to touch him, but we didn’t We learned several things about the horses on Assateague, mostly about how they have adapted to life in the wild.
- They eat the wild grass, march grass and even poison ivy
- They are treated as wild animals and are never handled nor receive any vet care
- They are tracked by the National Parks Rangers
- Their stunted legs are perfect for the marshy grounds and the sandy beaches
- Their bellies look bloated because of the amount of salt that they consume. They drive fresh water, but the salt is in the grasses that they eat
It was a fantastic trip, and I can safely say that we will be back to visit the horses very, very soon! If you are heading to Assateague Island, or simply have a horse lover – make sure to download my lapbook! It’s free for a limited time, so be sure to grab it now!