Wild Horses at Assateague Island National Seashore

We have had the worst luck with weather when visiting the Atlantic coast this year, and meeting up with my parents in Delaware did not change that streak. While wind and colder temperatures are not ideal for the beach, they sure do help keep the bugs away on the trails–and made for a great day to explore Assateague Island National Seashore.

Will and I had been to Assateague 2 summers ago with his family. We had a great time at the beach but did not spend much time exploring the island, and while we had not seen many wild horses on that trip, I always knew I wanted to go back.

Prior to heading out, I did some research and knew there were 3 short hikes. We figured we would do the hikes, eat our picnic lunch, and walk along the beach if time allowed.

We piled into my parents’ truck and headed south to Maryland. Little Bird was beside herself sitting between me and mumsy and had way too much fun keeping us entertained.

Just as we were pulling into the parking lot at the marsh hike trailhead, we saw a few horses crossing the road. We looked for a minute but continued down the boardwalk around the marsh. It just so happened, they made their way right next to the boardwalk as we rounded the final bend and we had an amazing view of them. I could have stood there all day watching them, especially the mama and colt, who made their way into thicker brush fairly quickly. The others lingered and we were in awe.

It was really fun to experience this with Little Bird and my parents. When we were in Florida earlier this year, my parents took us to the zoo. Little Bird was only about 9 months at the time, and while she occasionally looked at the animals or showed interest, it was nothing like how she interacts with the world around her now. She loved pointing out all the horses, seagulls and other birds, trees, and everything that was new in her eyes. Even in the 7 short months since we visited the zoo, she has changed so much in her awareness and interaction with us and her environment. It is so much fun to see the world through her eyes and get excited with her about new sights, sounds, and experiences.

We completed the other two hikes on the island – the forest trail and the dune trail – and had a fantastic picnic along the bay at a spot recommended by one of the rangers. While we did not see any more horses, we saw some beautiful and varying landscapes and learned a little about the history of the island. The wind was a godsend, as every time it died down even a little, the mosquitoes came out in full force. However, because of the wind we only stepped a foot on the beach before heading back to the truck. Having family join us or meeting up with friends along our journey is incredibly special and we were so happy my parents could join us for a few days. Even if the weather was not all we had hoped for, we made the best of our time together and had so much fun on our day trip exploring Assateague Island.

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