Chincoteague Island Vacation - Wild Ponies - Beach with ponies virginia, wild horses, Camping in VA and MD
Chincoteague Island, Virginia
Taking a vacation on Chincoteague Island is a nice change to the Beach Vacation.
Unlike many of the other coastal vacation destinations in the area like, Chincoteague has not be become built up and overly commercial. The Town of Chincoteague is a sharp contrast to Ocean City which is just north or Virginia Beach to the south. There are some new things built each year on the island, but for the most part the island has remained the same for many years and the Island has retained its small town feel.
Photos of Chincoteague PoniesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Chincoteague Wild Ponies
Chincoteague is best known for it's Wild Ponies.
There are a number of rumors about how the wild ponies got onto the Island. The most popular is that the ponies were shipwrecked on the Island when a Spanish galleon carrying the ponies as cargo sunk just off the Islands shores. Others believe the ponies were kept to graze on the islands by their owners who lived back on the islands to avoid being taxed on the animals.
Where is Chincoteague Island?
Chincoteague Annual Pony Swim
Normally the Wild Ponies of Chincoteague live on the sister Island, called Assateague Island. But once a year the Wild Ponies are rounded up and penned. The wranglers that round up the ponies are known as the "Saltwater Cowboys". After the ponies are rounded up they are herded across a narrow part of the Assateague Channel to Chincoteague Island.
The Annual Pony Penning and Pony Swim are a long standing tradition. The annual pony swim began in 1925. The Pony Penning however stretch back to the 1700's.
Chincoteague Pony Auction
After the Pony Swim the ponies are brought to Chincoteague an action is held where foals are sold to the highest bidder. The Chincoteague Ponies are a unique breed of horse and the auctions attract many horse owners looking to buy their own Chincoteague Pony.
The proceeds of the auction go to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which owns and manages the Ponies. In addition to the financial benefits of the auction the Fire Company holds this auction each year to maintain the number of horses on the Island.
Would you like to own your own Chincoteague Pony?
Buy Misty Books
Misty of Chincoteague
The most notable of Chincoteague Ponies is Misty. Misty was made famous by the 1947 Newbury Honor Winning book called Misty Of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry.
You can find The Misty of Chincoteague in many of the shops in Chincoteague, not just the bookstores. There are also two sequels Stormy, Misty's Foal and SeaStar: An Orphan of Chincoteague and other stories about Misty.
I remember reading these books as a child and they are still read by many children today.
Where to go Camping on Chincoteague Island
Camping at Chincoteague
No matter if you go camping by Tent or RV, Chincoteague is a great place to go camping. I spent many of my summer vacations as a child camping on Chincoteague, and I loved every minute of it.
There are four campgrounds on Chincoteague Island. These campgrounds offer Tent Sites and RV sites with Water, Sewer and Power available.
- Maddox Campground
Closest Campground to Assateague Beach and National Wildlife Refuge.
- Tom's Cove Campground
Chincoteague Island Virginia's finest Campground Tom's Cove Campground
- Inlet View
Waterfront Family Campground. In addition to wooded camp sites, Inlet View offers small cottages you can rent.
- Pine Grove Campground @Waterfowl Park
Pine Grove Campground is located on 37 acres of overgrown woods filled with yellow pine trees. There are six ponds that serve as a sanctuary for over 50 different species of ducks, geese, swans, pheasants, and other wildlife.
Assateague Island is the sister Island of Chincoteague and a small bridge connects the two islands. This Island is a National Park and Seashore. It has both a beach, lighthouse, wild ponies, hiking trails and lots of outdoor activities.
No vacation to Chincoteague is complete without a trip over to Assateague Island.
More on Assateague Island
- Assateague Island National Seashore
If you enjoy the outdoors you should set Assateague Island as the destination for your next vacation. Assateague island offers much more than your standard beach vacation. From Beach Camping to Wild Horses...