Boston Harbor Islands State Park

Quick Facts

Boston Harbor Islands State Park

Massachusetts

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Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

This 17-island state park is part of the 34-island Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area. They are a wonderful natural resource, only 45 minutes by ferry from downtown Boston. Seventeen of the islands are managed the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Six of the 17 islands,a 36-acre peninsula in Weymouth, are staffed and open for public use daily during the summer and weekends in the spring and fall.

Visitors to the park enjoy shell and slate beaches, easy hiking paths, old hay fields gone wild with bayberry, raspberry and elderberry, and old roadways to historic foundations and forts. Shade is found at picnic sites, trailside benches, and on wooded trails. There are many historic and scenic harbor vistas such as Dorchester, Quincy, Hull and Hingham Bays, the Blue Hills, Boston's skyline, 34 islands, and outward to Massachusetts Bay. Resident Park Managers/ Interpreters live on-island during the visiting season. They provide island supervision, give island tours, and. offer ongoing educational programs and special events. Check Boston Harbor Islands for schedules of island openings and special event listings.

Map of Boston Harbor Islands (MA)

Latitude, Longitude: 42.300530, -70.929420

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Activities

  • Boating

    Moorings: Limited docking space is available for private boats at Georges Island on a first-come, first-served basis. On all other islands, docks are available for off-loading only. Small prams are available for anchoring off-shore. For information on moorings for private boats at Bumpkin, Georges, Peddocks and other Boston Harbor Islands, Call 617-223-8666. For reservations and technical information, call 617-241-9640 or email: moorings@bosport.com.

  • Camping

    Overnight camping is permited only on designated islands, including Grape, Bumpkin, Lovells, from late June to early September. Camping is by reservation only and a fee is charged. Camping on the islands is a primitive camping experience. Weather conditions are variable and temperatures in the harbor are usually cooler than those on the mainland. There is no water or food available on the islands, so please plan accordingly. See ferry information above for transportation to the islands.

  • Fishing

    Enjoy fishing from shore on all the islands.

  • Hiking

    Spectacle Island features five miles of walking trails that will lead visitors to the crest of a 157 foot-high hill, offering magnificent panoramic views of the harbor and the city. Characterized by its curved beaches and diverse wildlife, Lovell's Island peaceful and primitive. Visitors can enjoy exploring the remains of Fort Standish and walk along trails that pass by dunes and salt-marsh woods. Along its shores there are rocky tide pools, sand dunes and some of the best views of the outer harbor.

  • Historic Sites

    George's Island is dominated by Fort Warren, a National Historic Landmark. Constructed of granite between 1833 and 1869, Fort Warren was used during the Civil War for training Union soldiers and later as a prison for captured Confederates. George's Island now serves as the entrance to the Boston Harbor Islands State Park and provides free inter-island water taxi service, rest room facilities, running water and concession stand. George's is open to the public from May to mid-October. Park Rangers offer guided fort tours and historical and nautical programs: special events such as the Civil War Encampment are scheduled on an annual basis and school curriculum packets are available. Contact the park office for a schedule of events. Also, Peddocks Visitor's Center has educational displays on the island's natural and military history. Park Rangers offer island walks, fort tours, and special events that highlight the military use, folklore and natural history of the island and the harbor.

  • Picnicking

    Many islands offer picnic areas, including George's Island, which has large picnic areas, a snack bar and an information booth,and Lovell's island, which offers picnic areas, scenic overlooks, 11 campsites and a swimming beach.

  • Water Sports

    Supervised swimming is offered daily on Spectacle Island, which offers a marina and two sandy beaches. Lovell's Island also has a swimming beach.

Directions

Public Transportation

Ferry Service: For Ferry Service information and events, please call (617) 223 8666, or go to www.bostonislands.com and click on Trip Planning.

Phone Numbers

Primary

7817401605 x205

Links