The suggested tire pressure should not exceed 20 lbs. This will provide a wider surface for the tire to ride on top of the sand and help prevent the tire from digging down into the sand.
- Tow Chain or rope capable of towing 6,000 lbs at least 10ft long.
- Shovel with 6” square and a handle at least 18” long
- Board - at least 12”X12” of non-bending steel, 5/8” plywood or 1.5” board
- Jack capable of lifting vehicle
- Tire gauge with minimum reading of 15 pounds or less.
- Spare Tire
The speed limit is set at 25 mph, no more than 15 mph is necessary. When within 100ft of another vehicle or pedestrian, the speed limit is 15 mph.
Always drive up close on the ocean side of the white marker posts and not down by the ocean. The sand at the ocean can become very soft and a vehicle can sink into the sand. This area is known as the “rack line” and is feeding ground for several species. Do not ever drive on the dunes.
Give right away to the larger vehicle as it is harder for that vehicle to get out of the tracks. However, the vehicle with the ocean to the driver’s side has the right of way.
Generators & loud music should be turned off by 10:00pm. Quite time is from 10pm to 6am.
For the Maryland side the maximum number of vehicles allowed on the beach is 145. In Virginia, the limit is 48, except with the point is closed for piping plover protection when the limit is 18.
The Bullpen area is an area designated just past KM 21, that is setup for over-night parking for vehicles that have self-contained units. No tents, trailers or plain vehicles are allowed to park overnight in this area.
In the OSV area, vehicles are allowed to stay over-night on the beach as long the vehicle has a “Night or Bullpen OSV pass” and at least one person is actively fishing. There is always a danger of tides rising and the possibility of it overtaking your vehicle, while you are sleeping. There is no sleeping in the OSV zone except in the bull pen.
Yes, campfires are allowed on the beach below the high tide water line unless otherwise posted by the National Park Service. Please ensure that you either burn all remnants of the wood or put the fire out with water. Do not cover a campfire with sand to extinguish it as there is a danger of people walking over the hot coals. Also, please ensure you cover the hole up when finished. Do not burn trash or anything other than wood in your fires.
Don’t PANIC!!! Usually, you can get yourself out by doing the following:
- Ensure your tire pressure is down to at least 15 lbs.
- Try not to spin your wheels too much, as you spin your tires only get deeper and deeper in the sand.
- Engage your 4WD, if you have your vehicle in 4WD Hi, switch it to 4WD Low, this will give your tires more power in low range to hopefully get a better grip.
- Dig a trail in front of your tires, clearing the loose sand in front of your tire will help it grab more firm sand and keep it from having to climb out of a hole
- Try rocking back and forth, sometimes your vehicle with grip better with momentum.
- Ask another vehicle for assistance. Most people will help you get unstuck; you will need to provide your tow rope/ strap. It is proper etiquette for you to hook on to your vehicle and them to hook onto their vehicle.
In 1978 it was negotiated between AMSA and the National Park Service that a 12 vehicle per mile limit be set. This was so prevent overcrowding of fishing activity which was the primary activity of the time as well as the primary visitors of that time.
It has been told to AMSA that the back road closure was due to that fact that the hunting lodge leases had expired and as a result the electric power lines were removed (which the back road was the right of way for the power lines) negating the necessity of the back road. The closure allows for the return of the natural state of the area.
AMSA was formed to preserve the rights and privileges of the sport fishermen, hunters and maintain vehicle access to Assateague Island National Seashore.
The club currently meets the third Wednesday of each month at the American Legion Post in Berlin, MD. All members are invited and encouraged to attend.
See the applications at the lower left hand side of the page.
AMSA works closely with the National Park Service to monitor any circumstance that may affect vehicle access. It is a member of several other larger organizations that is also dedicated to access rights and other issues affecting recreational fishing and hunting.
No. The National Park Service must treat each individual the same. No one receives special privileges.
The park service will restrict access and form a line. Then they will allow one on/one off access.
AMSA has approximately 1250 members. Many live locally with easy access to the island and are frequent visitors.
It is not illegal to not let air out. It is good beach etiquette to stop and let air out before leaving the paved road. Not letting air out creates bumps in the tracks that cause rough traveling for other vehicles. It also is not fair for those who practice good etiquette to lose their place in the count or in line to those who do not stop.
Join AMSA, participate in the public comment periods on all issues affecting Assateague Island and above all, stand up and be heard. Make your opinion count. It’s not too late.