The Boston Harbor Islands State and National Park includes 34 islands and peninsulas spread over 50 square miles of bays, harbors, and rivers within the greater Boston Harbor basin. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR, Mass Parks) is one of 11 managing partners and owns and manages more than half of the islands within the park.
Here is a place where you can walk a Civil War-era fort, visit historic lighthouses, explore tide pools, hike lush trails, camp under the stars, or relax while fishing, picnicking, or swimming-all within reach of downtown Boston. Extend your stay by camping on Peddocks, Lovells, Grape or Bumpkin Islands during the summer months.
Ferry Information: Spectacle, Georges, Grape, Bumpkin, Lovells and Peddocks Islands can only be accessed by boat. Passenger Ferries are located at Long Wharf North, Pemberton Point in Hull, and the Hingham Shipyard in Hingham. Click here for a Ferry Schedule or to Purchase Ferry Tickets. For more information call 617-223-8666
Groups and Private Events
We welcome all kinds of groups: companies, extended families, summer camps, youth groups, and others come to the islands to share a fun experience. There’s plenty of room for everyone and something to do for visitors of all ages—from taking the ferry ride to swimming to camping or just sightseeing at your final destination.
From a family picnic to a company outing we can help. Island venues are great for private events, such as weddings. So just gather your group, and we’ll help make planning your visit fast and easy, and your island visit memorable.
Each season the park offers thousands of free tickets to non-profit groups, which annually brings almost 20,000 kids to the park for free. Visit the BHI Groups webpage to learn more about our subsidized ferry ticket program.
Groups of 25 or more, or groups of any size that are interested in using the park for an activity outside of normal park operations, are REQUIRED to apply for a permit.
Private Boaters: Private boaters may use island floats and docks for loading and unloading located at Georges, Peddocks, Lovells, Bumpkin, and Grape Island, slips are available at Spectacle Island and mooring are available on Peddocks, Spectacle, Georges and Lovells Islands. Dinghies are often available for access to anchored vessels. Kayak beach landings and small motor boat beach anchoring is welcome. Docking at Georges Island is not available to recreational boaters due to interim dock configuration however, a limited number of mooring balls are available along Georges, Peddocks and other Boston Harbor Islands. Call Mass. Maritime Academy on marine VHF Channel 9 or 508-830-5095 for Spectacle Island slips and moorings reservations.
The Boston Harbor Islands offer rustic camping within sight of downtown Boston. While you’re camping, you can see the sunrise over the harbor and experience the islands in a whole new light. Rustic camping on Lovells, Grape, and Bumpkin means no flush toilets, showers, fresh water, electricity, telephones, or onsite supplies. So you’ll have to carry it all in, and carry it out.
On Peddocks Island yurts, equipped with furniture and electricity, as well as individual and group campsites are available for reservation. Electricity and running water is available at the visitor center.
The camping season generally runs from the end of June to Labor Day weekend. And the park ferry gets you and your camping gear to your island and back. Reservations are required for your campsite through ReserveAmerica. Visit the BHI Camping Reservations webpage for more information regarding camping on the islands.
Things to Know Before You Go...
All islands operate on a “Carry-on, Carry-off” policy meaning you are responsible for any trash you generate on the island. Island staff can provide you with a trash bag; trash barrels are located at the ferry terminals. Concessions are available on Spectacle and Georges Island, please call the park information line for hours of operation. Running water is available on Spectacle, Georges, and Peddocks Islands. Flush toilets are only available on Spectacle, Georges and Peddocks Islands, Grape, Bumpkin and Lovells have composting toilet units.