If you love to hike and experience the outdoors, make sure you leave a day for exploring Assateague Island. There are a variety of paved and unpaved trails open for hiking and 37 miles of beach to wander. Hiking on a barrier island is a very unique experience. Be prepared for the challenges of heat, humidity, biting insects, fast approaching storms and changing tides. Here are some things to make sure you have with you before heading out:
- long sleeve shirt
- insect repellent
Some other things to keep in mind before your trek:
- Check the weather forecast before you leave. We don’t recommend hiking in thunderstorms.
- Know when the sun is going to set. Don’t get stuck in the dark.
- Check for park closures. Sometimes regions are off limits due to nesting birds or habitat rehabilitation.
- Beach hiking is different. Terrain is soft and uneven, making it more difficult. Gauging distance can be challenging with fewer landmarks.
- Get a tide chart. Hiking during low tide can reveal hard packed sand, much easier to walk on.
- Wear (waterproof) hiking boots. Wet shoes with gritty sand can cause serious blisters.
Hiking Trails on Assateague
Service Road: The longest hike on the island is the Service Road, which is seven miles and heads north. You can reach the Virginia half of the island via this trail.
Wildlife Loop: A 3.25 mile hike around Snow Goose Pool. You can reach the Service Road trail via this loop, or take the Swan Cove trail to the beachfront.
There are a variety of shorter, mile and under hikes. Perfect for a more casual stroll.
Lodging on Chincoteague Island
Whether you are coming for days full of hiking and wilderness immersion, or, something more gentile, we hope you will make Island Manor Bed and Breakfast your home base in Chincoteague.