Page: Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
Save the Harbor / Save the Bay is a grass-roots environmental advocacy group whose mission is to restore, protect and promote Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay.
The Boston Harbor Islands as of November 12, 1996, became an official unit of the National Park Service,,,,
"In 1996, 31 islands were incorporated into the the new Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. A subset of 13 constitutes Boston Harbor Islands State Park, and of these just five — George's, Gallops, Lovells, Bumpkin and Grape — have regular boat service and are staffed with rangers in the summer. Peddocks Island is scheduled to rejoin this group of staffed islands in June, 1998.
On Grape and Bumpkin — both small, wooded drumlins — trails wander through miniature forests, along marsh edges and over rocky outcrops. Grape Island is 50 acres of wild blackberries, bayberries, birds and wildlife unique to the region. An old children's hospital and stone farmhouse are the focal points of Bumpkin Island, which was once laced with wildflowers and butterflies.
Georges Island covers 30 acres and once housed Confederate prisoners during the Civil War. Gallops Island, just 16 acres, houses a World War II maritime radio school. Lovells Island includes scenic overlooks, camping and an appealing swimming beach.
Picnicking, camping and getting there: All five islands have picnic areas, some with grills and most with picnic tables. Some of the sites are right on top of each other while others will give you some breathing room.
Camping is free with permits on Lovells, Bumpkin and Grape. But plan early. Reservations are first-come, first-served."
LANDSAT image of the harbor and islands
You can take a Boston Harbor Cruises ferry to Georges Island from Long Wharf (ferries also leave from Hingham and Lynn); from Georges, free water taxis circulate among the five islands open to the public. Parking for ferry service leaving from Boston is expensive. Better to take the Blue Line to the Aquarium T stop.
Getting there: Only $8 R/T on one of the frequent and scenic Harbor Island Cruises, then free water taxi between the individual islands
Page by TimD; January 1999 (updated 4/21/02)
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