• Lush vegetation on the top of Spectacle Island's North drumlin dominates the foreground. Boston's skyline can be seen in the distance.  The park's logo with tag line minutes away, worlds apart empashises the stark contrast between the city and islands.

    Boston Harbor Islands

    National Recreation Area Massachusetts

Permit Applications

Permits are required to bring groups to the islands. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) requires all groups visiting Georges, Spectacle, Peddocks, Lovells, Grape and Bumpkin Islands or Webb Memorial Park with more than 25 members to submit a Recreational Use Permit. There is no fee associated with the permit, but it is required for your visit.

Information you must identify in the permit includes the date of travel, contact information of the group leader, school name, number of participants and boat company used, departure times and island destination.

To obtain a use permit contact the Group Permit Coordinator with DCR at (781) 925-1032. Ask for the Recreational Use Permit specifically for Boston Harbor Islands.

If your expedition destination is Thompson Island, contact the Outward Bound staff at (617) 328-3900 ext. 116 to inquire about the necessary permits, including those if you intend to stay overnight.

Trip Tip!: Always make your boat reservations before you request a permit. Please submit your permit request at least 7 days prior to the day of the trip.

Did You Know?