Things to Do at Wheelchair Accessible Assateague Island

Thanks to COVID-19, vacations have been very limited the past year and a half, especially for my family. Since my immune system is very weak and cannot handle getting sick, flying is still not an option. Still, that didn’t stop us from taking our first official vacation this summer after I was fully vaccinated. We decided to take a road trip to Delaware for a few days and stay at an Airbnb. The main reason we picked Delaware as our vacation spot is because, ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted to visit the Assateague Island National Seashore.

What is the Assateague Island National Seashore?

The Assateague Island National Seashore is an Indian reserve that has over 300 wild ponies running free across 37 miles of inlet beaches, forests and salt marshes. In addition to the horses there are several other wild animals to see. Legend says that during the 17th century, the horses found on Assateague were brought by a Spanish ship. This is why the horses are a different breed than any other horses. Assateague is located near Chincoteague Island, Virginia and Ocean City, Maryland.

Wheelchair Accessible Assateague Island

Upon arrival, we had to cross a very steep bridge. Along the side of the bridge was a wheelchair-accessible path that you could use if you wanted to cross the bridge and see the view of the water. It was such a cool experience to cross an entire bridge in my Edge® 3 Power Wheelchair.  Once I crossed the bridge, I immediately saw wild horses on the side of the road. One of the biggest things about Assateague is that they make sure the horses are protected and don’t feel confined.

Wheelchair Accessibility in the Park

After driving through horse filled forests for a few miles, we came to a welcome center. You pay a small fee and enter the state park. From there, you have two options. You can continue driving towards a trail that encompasses the entire reserve. The entire park is wheelchair accessible. There are paved trails throughout the entire park. You can also choose to park your car and rent a locker to put your things in if you want to go to the beach. Because the beach is on an inlet, the sand is really soft and the water is really calm. Those two features combined make it a beautiful beach. Plus, you can rent a beach wheelchair. It felt like a dream come true!

The horses usually run wild on the beach as it gets later in the day. Imagine laying out on the beach enjoying the weather and sand, when you turn and there’s horses everywhere! It felt like I was living in a movie. There is also a campsite for those who would like to spend the night with the horses and the animals walk around the campsite whenever they want.

Why I Love Horses

As you may or may not know, horses are my spirit animal. They are so majestic and beautiful. When I visited Assateague, I felt like I could relate to the horses. They can run wild and free and that reminds me of how I can roam around freely in my Edge® 3 Power Wheelchair with iLevel®. It is a feeling that only another power wheelchair user can understand. Being able to interact with the horses up close as they walked along the beach was an amazing experience that I will always remember.

If you’re ever in the area. I highly recommend visiting Assateague Island National Seashore.

two black and white goats
Photo by Vinícius Vieira on

About Sakina Shamsi: Sakina lives in New Jersey with her parents and brother. Although she has spinal muscular atrophy type II, Sakina lives a full and independent lifestyle. She is active in the disability community and enjoys horseback riding, baking and crafting. Click here to learn more about Sakina.

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