FAQs about Getting to the Islands
Q: How do I get to the Boston Harbor Islands? Park passenger ferries and shuttle boats bring visitors to the islands from May to October. Go to By Passenger Ferry for more information.
Q: How long is the ferry ride? During the summer season, it takes approximately 20 minutes to travel from Long Wharf North in Boston to Spectacle Island and 30 minutes from Long Wharf North to Georges Island. During our spring and fall season, it takes either 20 or 45 minutes to arrive at Spectacle depending upon the order of stops at the two islands; check the schedule carefully. Please consult the schedule for specific times between islands and mainland piers on the Island Connectors serving Hingham, Grape, Bumpkin, Peddocks, Hull, Georges, and Lovells.
Q: Can we bring our car to the islands? No, the ferries are not equipped to carry cars, but there are four peninsulas, which are part of the national park area accessible by car and with onsite parking: Deer Island, Nut Island, Worlds End, and Webb Memorial. A small parking fee is charged at Worlds End.
Q: Can I take my own boat out to the islands? Yes. For access to Lovells, Peddocks, Grape, and Bumpkin Islands, you may drop off your guests and gear at the island docks and anchor offshore. Moorings are also available and dinghies are usually available when anchoring. Docking is also possible at the Spectacle Island Marina for a fee. Recreational boats may not dock at Georges Island while the pier is under repair during the 2012 season.
Q: What about sea kayaking? Boston Harbor and the islands offer spectacular opportunities for the experienced sea kayaker. Exploring the islands by sea kayak offers more flexibility than using the park ferry and shuttle system—kayakers can have an adventure not yet available to most visitors who are limited to islands that have piers and ferry service. Remember: The harbor is an active port used by HUGE cargo ships and tankers. They cannot stop to avoid a kayak! We suggest paddling in Quincy or Hingham Bay.
Q: Are the islands accessible to people with physical disabilities? The main ferries serving the islands are accessible to people with disabilities; however, none of the islands currently meet those requirements. The park is working to rectify this situation. A few islands can be available to people with disabilities, depending on the tide: Georges Island offers paved and fairly level paths; Peddocks has paved paths in the area of Fort Andrews; and Spectacle Island has one accessible crushed stone trail. Grape, Bumpkin, and Lovells Islands have trails of dirt or grass that are not suitable for people with disabilities. Please call with specific questions.