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  Misery Islands
Misery Islands

What to Bring

Hat   All-terrain shoes
Binoculars   Water
Windbreaker   A good book
Insect repellent   Fleece vest
Snacks   Trash bag


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  Good to know in advance
Islands open year-round sunrise to sunset
Trustees of Reservations staff available on the island from late June through Labor Day
Guided tour available when staff is present
Composting toilets on Great Misery open
mid-May – mid-Nov
For more information, contact the Trustees of Reservations: 978-526-8687, or by email at”
Click here for the Trustees of Reservation website
Dogs allowed on leash
Be quiet to let others enjoy the place

ID Card

Overall rating: Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating
Difficulty: 1/5
  Time from Boston: 1 1/4 hours
  Duration: Half day/full day

$5 per adult
$3 per child
(12 and under)

  Main activity:


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Two small rugged islands with great beaches and fewer visitors than the Boston Harbor Islands. No house, no power, no water . . . castaway atmosphere guaranteed!

The Great and Small Misery Islands lie in the Salem Sound. The islands are currently only accessible by personal craft (including row boats, canoes and kayaks), though the Trustees of Reservations are hoping to restore the former public ferry schedule from Salem soon. These islands are relatively small, but they are also little known, making up a much more pleasant experience than the more famous Boston Harbor Islands. Here, no crowd, no long lines, and once on the islands, many places and vantage points where you can stay alone.

Great Misery Island is the landing point and the larger of the two islands. You can walk round it on the coastal trail (about an hour) and several other trails allow you to explore the place further. There are several nice places to sit and watch the ocean, gaze at the mainland or look at passing sailboats, as well as three beaches. It is impossible to get lost, so you will have time to climb the small hill on Great Misery to watch the shuttle boat slowing coming to pick you up at the end of the day. There are ruins scattered on the island, remains of a resort and various cottages built in the early years on the twentieth century.

Little Misery Island is accessible by foot only at very low tide from Great Misery Island, but you may also swim the small distance between both islands at higher tide. Little Misery is even smaller than Great Misery, but offers the same extraordinary vistas on the Salem Sound and the Atlantic ocean. The Islands are a great place to have a picnic with friends and family.

Access is free for members of the Trustees of Reservations.
Paddling Biking Mountaineering