Nature & Science

We invite you to explore the rich biodiversity of the Boston Harbor Islands. Watch wildlife in the park, or follow the links below to learn about natural change and stewardship in our "outdoor laboratory."

Visit National Park Service (NPS) for a summary of nature and science at Boston Harbor Islands:


More from NPS about the living components of park ecosystems—biodiversity:


More from NPS about the physical components of island ecosystems—habitats:


More from NPS about the systematic study of the islands' biodiversity and habitats:

Photo courtesy of Sherman Morss, Jr.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I fish at the Boston Harbor Islands?

Yes, as long as it is away from boaters and swimmers.  If you are age 16 or over, you must have a MA, NH, RI, or CT fishing permit.      

What type of fish could I catch at the Boston Harbor Islands?

Striped bass, bluefish, flounder, skate, haddock, and cod are among the many varieties of fish you may catch at the Boston Harbor Islands. 

Which island has the most hiking trails?

Spectacle Island is over 100 acres, with spectacular views of Boston Harbor and its surroundings.  Worlds End in Hingham, at 250 acres, is the largest of the peninsula area.  Both have about five miles of hiking trails.  All hiking at the Boston Harbor Islands is light to moderate.

What wildlife will I see on the Boston Harbor Islands?

The boat ride is not quite far out enough to see whales or dolphins, but expect plenty of sea birds and an occasional harbor seal.  The islands themselves will have deer, fox, raccoons, rabbits, turkeys, coyotes, muskrats, voles, and squirrels.  There is also the wonderful biodiversity of the tidepool and insects. Please remember NOT to attract, feed, or disturb any species of wildlife.  

Where do I go for the most scenic views?

Each island and peninsula has at least one viewing area, where one can sit and enjoy a breathtaking ocean view.  The best views of Boston are from Spectacle Island's north or south drumlin.  The best outer island viewing areas are the observation tower at Georges Island or anywhere on Little Brewster Island.  But remember-you can't go wrong with scenic views from any island!

Park Map

Boston Harbor Island Map

Nature & Science

Boston Harbor Islands videos

Details about Boston Harbor Islands park supplied by National Park Service