Not only do you have to watch...
Not only do you have to watch out for pedestrians who are distracted by the wildlife, you have to watch out for the wildlife itself. You will encounter a lot of the wildlife there--whether it be the ponies, deer, birds, or whatever else you might find. If you are driving, observe the posted speeds. Perhaps you'll even want to go slower than that. Stay to the paths that are there to protect the uniqueness and pristine quality of the reserve on the island. Pick up after yourself--that goes without saying. It is not uncommon to have a close encounter with a deer or three as you are biking (as happened to me). I just turned around and went on a different path rather than disturb them, even though I was on the path.
Bug repellant would be advisable, especially near dusk.
Also, if you bike or walk, be sure to carry water with you, as it might be awhile before you can get some more. Take care of that before you get onto Assateague Island, as there are no commercial properties on the island. That is the wonderful thing about it. There are no hotels, shops or houses once you cross over into Assateague Island. If you need any sort of supplies, it is best to get them before you get to Chincoteague or Assateague Island, but if you need anything, you should be able to find those things in the small shops in Chincoteague.
Prepare for different types of weather. The first day I was there, it was cool (about 14 C) and rainy, and this was in July. I nearly lost my umbrella on the beach to the wind, and then figuring it wasn't raining too heavily, decided to abandon it in my car and just walk along the beach with a jacket on. The second day was warmer, but still cool (around 20 C) for that time of summer. Suntan lotion is also advisable.
Not just steps
Although one might expect that the lighthouse itself would not be handicapped accessible - after all the design of the thing means that there will usually be many steps to get to the top. Even the Sullivan's Island lighthouse which is the only one with an elevator has an additional 25 foot ladder to be scaled to get to the lantern room.
But the path to this lighthouse is particularly difficult to negotiate if you have trouble walking. It is deep gravel. You could not use a scooter or wheelchair, and even walking was difficult for me. I had to stop and rest several times.
These photos are the ones I took while I stopped to rest. I got up to the cleared area around the lighthouse, and sat down to catch my breath.
- Sailing and Boating
- Budget Travel
Chincoteague is the insect...
Chincoteague is the insect capital of the world being so swampy. The insects are looking for an unsuspecting tourist to munch on, and I mean munch on. I took the tram car into the Refuge without wearing insect repellent. Needless to say, I had thousands of welts.
No Ponies Here
There are no wild ponies on Chincoteague Island. The only time there are ponies here is after the Pony Swim. At “slack tide” on the last Wednesday of every July, Chincoteague’s “Saltwater Cowboys” herd about 150 ponies across the Assateague Channel to move them from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island.
- Horse Riding