Assateague State Park Quest

Nature's Scavenger Hunt

Introduction to Quest

Assateague.Q.jpgYour quest focuses on the connection between nature and technology. You will use today's technology as you wander through the park. You will need both an excited imagination and a keen eye as you move throughout the park. Try to look at things differently than your normal perspective.

Quest Information

Use the picture of a bike tire to form the letter "Q" as an example of turning what you see normally. Pick items apart, look closely and see everything through a different light. This will serve to force a deeper connection with those things we tend to take for granted in our everyday, busy lifestyles. What you use for your photographs can be either man made (i.e. fence post), or provided by Mother Nature (i.e. trees).

This quest follows the Leaving No Trace principle of leaving things how you found them. Feel free to rotate how you view your photos, use skewed camera angles, distance or perspective as photo manipulation, but please do not move objects within the park to create letters that did not already exist as you found them.

Instructions to Complete the Quest

Wander about (see optional routes provided below) and see how many objects can be found within the park, that naturally create the letters of the alphabet. Be sure to capture these letters with your camera. Then use these pictures to create a park inspired word (4 letter minimum) such as surf, or sand!

Bayside Route: 3.6 miles (Includes, State Park Marina, National Seashore Visitors Center, and Rackliffe Trail- End Rackliffe House)
Directions: From the day use parking lot head back towards the bike path that runs parallel to the Rt.611 causeway and continue over the pedestrian side of the Verrazano Bridge (This is the other side of the bridge you drove over to get onto the island). Once over the bridge the State Park Marina is directly on your right and the National Park Visitors Center is on the left. Directly behind the National Park visitors Center is the Rackliffe Trail that will lead you to the Historic Rackliffe Plantation House.

Ocean Route: 2.2 miles (Begin at Shell Road, end at Day Use Boardwalk/ Concession)
Directions: From the day use parking lot look to the west and find the campground entrance road (separated by the day use parking lot by a split rail fence and has 2 large white metal gates, just before the entrance to the day use lot). Directly across the road from the campground road is the beginning of shell road. The road begins with crushed shells but quickly becomes sand; follow this until you see the ocean. Once on the sandy beach, turn right and walk near the surf back to the state park day use boardwalk (this will be the second marked crossover you will see on your right).

Campground Route: 1.6 Miles (Travels from Day Use lot end at Nature Center, Return Oceanside)
Directions: From the day use parking lot locate the Ranger Station (large white building to the South West). From there you should be able to locate the gated campground entrance. You can walk the bike path which follows the campground road. The nature center is located between camping loops D and E. Once at the nature center you can choose to walk back on the path or crossover the dune directly behind the nature center to walk the beach. If walking the beach plan to end at the day use boardwalk (the next crossover on your left after passing A loop). There may be educational lessons taking place at the nature center, if so please be respectful.


As you complete your quest think about how this search may have affected your visit. How was it different then your past visit? Did you take time to slow down, to really stop and observe, to dig deeper? Look beyond what is seen at first glance. Did you notice things that generally go unnoticed? As you travel through the park, we hope you enjoy your search and find it a way to see our park, and to see nature through a different set of eyes.

Supplies and Equipment Needed

For the Assateague Quest, you will need to print the “A-Z checklist” page. You may choose to park your vehicle at the starting location (day use parking lot) and hike throughout the park as you visit the various sites. Be prepared with water, sunscreen, and bug spray. Stay on trail, and check for ticks afterwards.

Participants must provide a camera or cell phone camera to document their Quest. There are a few cameras available on loan from the ranger station, first come first served. Once you have collected enough pictures of the naturally provided letters to create your park inspired word, you will return to the Ranger Station where you will be asked to share your word to our staff to demonstrate you have completed the Quest and get your Passport stamp. We also hope that you will share your Assateague inspired word on the Park Quest Facebook page and on your own social media sites! This would also serve as a great Do-it-Yourself picture project to decorate a room in your house, and to always remember this Assateague quest experience.

Quest Information

The Quest begins at the Assateague State Park Day Use Area located at 6905 Stephen Decatur Highway, Berlin, MD 21811.

The Quest will involve walking over uneven terrain including sandy areas. There are a limited number of Beach Accessible Wheelchairs available at the Ranger Station on a first-come, first-served basis.

Participants must provide a camera or cell phone camera for this Quest. You are encouraged to bring along your own bug spray, sunscreen, and drinking water for this quest.

Additional Helpful Information

While completion of the Assateague Quest does not require entrance into any of the structures you may encounter, to add to the enjoyment of your trip you may want to plan a time when they will be open. For your reference, below are some helpful hours of operation, you can also call the Ranger Station for more details at 410-641-2918.

  • Assateague State Park Ranger Station: 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Memorial Day to labor Day) *Quest must be completed during Ranger Station hours to receive passport stamp
  • Assateague Island Visitor's Center: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
  • Assateague State Park Pony Express Camp Store and Restaurant: 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays from Memorial Day to June 13th, then open daily 9 a.m. to noon through Labor Day, plus some summer afternoon/evening hours (contact Ranger Staton for weekly schedule)
  • Assateague State Park Day Use Area: 7 a.m. to sunset daily
  • Assateague State Park Nature Nook: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily from June 13th to Labor Day

Park Information

Assateague State Park is Maryland's only oceanfront park. It is located on Assateague Island, a barrier island bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Sinepuxent Bay on the west. Its two miles of ocean beaches offer swimming, beachcombing, sunbathing, surfing and fishing. The bayside offers visitors the chance to explore secluded coves by canoe or kayak. Try camping at one of our 350 campsites. Each site includes a fire ring and picnic table.

Assateague State Park
7307 Stephen Decatur Highway
Berlin, MD 21811

Directions to Assateague State Park

  • Assateague State Park is located in the eastern portion of the state in Worcester County, 8 miles south of Ocean City. The park may be reached via MD RT 50 east to MD RT 611.
  • Make a reservation to stay at the park.