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Camping at Boston Harbor Islands SP

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Overview of Boston Harbor Islands SP

Boston Harbor Islands State Park is a unique collection of islands that offer a range of outdoor activities and experiences accessible from Boston. Managed jointly by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Boston, and the National Park Service, the park comprises several islands each with its own history and natural beauty.

Camping Information

Reservations and Permits:

  • To camp on the Boston Harbor Islands, you typically need to make a reservation in advance. Popular camping times can book up quickly, especially on weekends and holidays.
  • Ensure that you have the necessary permits. These can usually be obtained online or through the park administration.

Choosing a Campsite:

  • There are a limited number of campsites available for public use. Some of the islands that offer camping include Bumpkin, Grape, and Lovells Islands.
  • Each island has different amenities and restrictions, so it's important to choose a site that fits your needs.

Arriving and Departing:

  • Access to the islands is generally by ferry, private boat, or kayak. Ferry services have specific schedules and routes, and tickets can be purchased in advance.
  • Be aware of the ferry schedule to ensure you don't miss the last boat off the island.

Camping Amenities:

  • Amenities vary by island. Some may have composting toilets, picnic tables, and grills, whereas others are more primitive.
  • Drinking water is not available on all islands, so be prepared to bring your own.

Leave No Trace Principle:

  • The park operates on a carry-in, carry-out policy. Visitors must take all trash with them when they leave.
  • It is recommended to follow the Leave No Trace Seven Principles to minimize your impact on the environment.

Safety and Regulations:

  • Check for specific fire regulations as open flames may be restricted or prohibited.
  • Be mindful of the wildlife and maintain a safe distance.
  • Weather conditions can change rapidly, so ensure you are prepared for the region’s variable weather.


  • In addition to camping, the islands offer hiking, swimming, picnicking, fishing, and historic sites.
  • Some islands have guided tours that delve into the local history and ecology.

Booking and Contact Information:

  • For the most current information and to make reservations, visit the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) website or the official website for the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park.

Before planning your camping trip to the Boston Harbor Islands State Park, always check the latest updates and guidelines provided by the park authorities to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Map of Campgrounds in Boston Harbor Islands SP
Campgrounds in Boston Harbor Islands SP
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