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  Camping on the Boston Harbor Islands
 
Camping on the Boston Harbor Islands
 

What to Bring

Tent   Sleeping bag
Sleeping pad   Stove
Matches   Flashlight
Insect repellent   Food
Cooking gear   Camera
Sunscreen   Hat
Plastic bags for
trash
  Warm clothes and rain gear
Water (one gallon per day per
person)
   
 

Specs

  Directions
 
To Boston Long Wharf:
From the south, take I-93 to exit 23 (Atlantic Avenue & Northern Avenue)
Follow signs to Atlantic Avenue and the
New England Aquarium
From the north, take I-93 to exit 23 Purchase Street/South Station
Take first left on Congress, then immediate left on to Atlantic Avenue
Follow signs to the New England Aquarium
Parking is not possible at Long Wharf
(passenger drop-off only), and you will
have to park nearby, at Rowes Wharf, The Mariott Hotel, The Garage at Post Office
Square, The Boston Harbor Garage, or
Quincy Market. Traffic can be heavy in the area because of the Big Dig, so arrive early to find a spot without hurrying. Average
parking fee for a day is about $25
(off-street parking is free on Sunday, but
spaces are difficult to find)
To Quincy:
From Boston, take I-93 South
Take exit 12 towards Neponset/Quincy;
drive under the I-93 overpass and take right to the Neponset River bridge
Continue straight on Hancock Street
About 2 miles after the bridge, take left on 3A South
Entrance to the terminal is off the next
rotary
  Good to know in advance
 
Reservations are required to camp on the islands and can be made online at
www.ReserveAmerica.com or call toll-free
877-422-6762

Your camping reservation is not site
specific. At check-in an island ranger will assign you a campsite or area

Camping is limited to 14 cumulative days
The camping season runs from June 25 to the Labor Day weekend
Water shuttle round trip fee Mon-Wed: $10 round-trip per adult, $7 per child age 3-11, free for children under 3, senior (65+): $7, Family Four pack (2 adults and two
children): $28; inter-island shuttle is free
Water shuttle round trip fee Thus-Sun: $9
round-trip per adult, $7 per child age 3-11, free for children under 3, senior (65+): $7, Family Four pack (2 adults and two
children): $32; inter-island shuttle is free
To schedule your camping trip, download the water shuttle schedule
There are no showers, fresh water,
electricity or telephone, and no food or
camping supply stores on the islands – plan accordingly; restrooms are composting
toilets
Campers should bring one gallon of drinking water per person for each day on the
islands
On-island rangers are equipped with
emergency communications and first aid
supplies
For information on moorings for private
boats, call 617-223-8666
For more information:
www.bostonislands.com or call
617-223-8666
  Etiquette
 
No pets allowed
Carry-in/carry-out policy, trash receptacles are limited
Campsite cooking is allowed with camp
stoves only
Bonfires allowed below the high tide line;
campfires are not allowed at campsites or anywhere above high tide line
Alcoholic beverages prohibited
Amplified sound (radios, boom boxes)
prohibited
 
   

ID Card

Overall rating: Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating
Difficulty: 1/5
  Time from Boston: 45 minutes
  Duration: Weekend
  Cost:

$27.50

  Main activity:

Camping

 
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This destination is now closed for the winter season
If you are searching for a different camping experience, look no further than… the Boston harbor. Four of the Boston Harbor Islands, Bumpkin, Grape, Lovells and Peddocks have campgrounds, all with an unparalleled location within sight of the Boston skyline – across the water!

Staying on the Islands overnight means going back to the days where backcountry camping was the norm: these islands offer a rustic experience, with no drinking water nor food available, and a primitive infrastructure. What you get in return for hauling more gear than usual is complete isolation for the night, and the many sights and sounds of coastal Massachusetts: fishing boats and merchant ships on the horizon, faraway horns, birds circling overhead, and the sound of the waves nearby. Not a bad backdrop to pitch a tent.

Though the four islands all have a different character, they have some things in common: all islands are accessible only by water shuttle, either from the South Shore in Quincy, or from Boston, or by personal watercraft; all the islands have trails and shorelines for hiking and exploring; Lovells has a swimming beach supervised by lifeguards during summer, and swimming is also possible on Bumpkin and Grape islands, but at your own risk since there is not lifeguard. All islands feature composting toilets, picnic tables, and benches.

Each island also has a particular character, and is worth a visit:
Bumpkin Island
Shell beaches and open fields provide a relaxing atmosphere for camping on this 35-acre island.
Click here for a map of the island
To get there, take the water shuttle departing from Quincy at the T boat terminal in Quincy Shipyard (see sidebar for directions)
Grape Island
Once inhabited by Native Americans and colonial farmers, the island's 50 acres are a haven for wildlife. Wild blackberries, bayberries and rose hips proliferate on the island, providing food for a wide variety of birds and hours of delight for naturalists. One group and 10 individual camp sites are available. The island includes many wooded trails.
Click here for a map of the island
To get there, board the shuttle from Quincy at the T boat terminal in Quincy Shipyard
Lovells Island
Characterized by its curved beaches and diverse wildlife, Lovells is a peaceful island escape. In season, Lovell's sandy beaches are supervised by lifeguards. Along its shores are rocky tidal pools, sands dunes and some of the best views of the outer harbor. Beach goers can also explore the remains of Fort Standish and walk along trails that pass by the dunes and salt-marsh woods. Available Ranger tours bring alive the military history, folklore, geology, and biology of the island.
Click here for a map of the island
To get there, take the ferry to Georges Island from Boston Long Wharf, one block from Faneuil Hall, between the Marriott and the New England Aquarium; then take the inter-island shuttle to reach Lovells (be sure to check the shuttle schedule to plan your trip – see sidebar)
Peddocks Island
Peddocks is one of the largest and most diverse islands in the national park area. The Island's east head contains the remains of Fort Andrews, active in harbor defense from 1904 to the end of World War II. The island has 10 campsites and its trails pass by a salt marsh, a pond and mature coastal forests. Peddocks Visitor's center has educational displays on the island's natural and military use, folklore and natural history of the island and Boston Harbor. With the longest shoreline of any harbor island, Peddocks is composed of four headlands, connected by sand or gravel bars called tombolos.
Click here for a map of the island
· To get there, take the ferry to Georges Island from Boston Long Wharf, one block from Faneuil Hall, between the Marriott and the New England Aquarium; then take the inter-island shuttle to reach Lovells (again, be sure to check the shuttle schedule to plan your trip – see sidebar)
Paddling Biking Mountaineering
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