The Best Adventure Photography Trips: Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland/Virginia

Sep 1, 2009
Outside Magazine
Wild horses in Assateague

Wild horses in Assateague    Photo: courtesy of National Park Service

According to local myth, Assa­teague Island's wild horses arrived when a Spanish galleon sank offshore and the ponies swam for it. This isn't true—more likely, colonial farmers grazed horses on the barrier island and a few escaped. No matter. The feral horses have been tromping around Assateague for 300 years, making the 37-mile-long, 1.5-mile-wide island perhaps the most accessible wilderness destination on the eastern seaboard. Most of the two million visitors come in summer to lounge on white sand, so go in spring or fall and pitch a tent at any of the 165 sites (from $20, available May–October; Then wander with a wide-angle lens and shoot the 125 horses, which cool themselves on the beach as the sun drops over Sinepuxeng Bay.

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