This week in our Local Love video feature, team agent Heather Gates brought us along for a bike adventure – in search of ponies! – at Assateague Island, on the Maryland seashore!

In honor of Earth Day, we wanted to celebrate by sharing one of our favorite and one of the most special spots that is near the Delaware beaches. The remarkable Assateague Island was dedicated as a National Seashore on September 21, 1965. There was actually a time when Assateague was connected to Fenwick Island, and it wasn’t until a storm in August of 1933 created an inlet between the southern end of Ocean City and the now, Assateague!

The biggest question that many people have about this incredible island? Well of course, that’s of how it’s wild ponies came to roam its beaches. The combined seashores of Assateague (MD & VA) are home to over 300 wild ponies. Some people believe that when the ponies arrived century’s ago, it was from a Spanish galleon ship with a cargo carrying the horses that sank offshore- while others claim that they arrived by early settlers who allowed them to graze, and lay home to the land. Ship remains were discovered however in the waters off of Assateague, which does lend credit heavily to the first theory – however, we will never truly know how these marvelous creatures first found their new home on the island, and it’s the mystery of their story that draws over 1 million visitors each year, to visit them and the park.

Assateague serves not only as a public land housing the infamous ponies, but it also shares a unique location where visitors can come to relax, walk the beach, swim, surf, view wildlife, and enjoy birding, crabbing, fishing, kayaking, and our favorite… biking! So make sure to plan your next trip to this beautiful seashore, and be sure to give the ponies (while remaining the required distance apart from them) some Local Love!

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