Assateague Island Wildlife Loop

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A pond

The Wildlife Loop is a circular (mostly) road that goes around Snow Goose Pool.  Its about 3.5 miles all the away around.  Its open to cars after 3:00PM but that's the worst way to see it.  Walking gives you the time to enjoy the views, birds and wildlife.  You even see the occasional pony.

Wildlife LoopIf you walk it counter clockwise, you follow a canal / creek a little ways before seeing Snow Goose Pool on your left.  This pool tends to not have much water in the summer and have more water in the winter.  The summer birds prefer to eat crustaceans in the mud and the ducks and geese in the winter want water.  In a dry year, the pool can be disappointingly dry for the geese.

As you keep going, you can see Black Duck Pool off to the right.  Its the one thatWildlife Loop Pond is beside the road to the beach and is where many beautiful sunrises can be seen.  After you pass the Black Duck Trail, you come to a corner of the Swans Cove Pool.  This pool goes clear to the beach.  You can occasionally see lots of birds in this shallow area.

As you keep going and round the corner, you're kind of in the forest.  Its pretty open now because beetles killed most of the trees a few years ago.  Its coming back but has a way to go.  When you get to the overlook area, check it out.  You never know what you'll see.

As you keep going and make the sharp left, you are between Snow Goose Pool and Shoveler Pool.  In the spring, this is a good area to watch the Black Skimmers doing their thing.  They fly close to the water dragging their lower bill.  If they bump a fish, the upper bill closes and the get a snack.  If not, they loop and try again.

As you pass the pools and get ready to turn left, you see a gate and a service road.  This is the road you take to WALK to see the northern herd of ponies.  It isn't real scenic until you get there though.  As you complete the loop, you head back into the parking lot.  Its a pleasant walk but this part doesn't always offer a lot to see.