• 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

Island Facts: Langlee Island

Home to the Boston Light the oldest lighthouse site in the country.


 

General Information
This island of Boston Harbor Islands national park area is managed by the Town of Hingham.

Agency Designation: Park lands
Current Use: Park purposes
Harbor Location: Hingham Bay
Acreage: 8 (upland acres: 4.39; intertidal acres: 3.46)
Highest elevation: 40 feet
Longitude: 42° 15' 52.0" North
Latitude: 70° 53' 15.4" West
Miles from Long Wharf: 11.8

 
Visitor Facilities & Services
Hours:
Sunrise to Sunset
Piers/Docks:
No
Visitor season:
0
Boat slips:
0
Visitor staff:
No
Moorings:
0
Guided tours:
No
Park boats:
None
Lifeguards:
No
Car access:
No
Flush toilets:
No
Campsites:
0 (capacity ea: 0)
Composting toilets:
No
Group campsites:
0 (capacity ea: 0)
Picnic areas:
No
Camping capacity:
0
Refreshments:
No
Cooking grills:
0
Drinking water:
No
Walking trails:

No

On-island Circulation: There are several informal footpaths that traverse the island to views on ledges. Much of the island is impenetrable due to poison ivy and brambles.

Visitor Cautions: Potentially dangerous approach due to rocks.

 
Natural History Overview
Vegetation
In an 1893 account, The History of Hingham, author Bouve describes Langlee as "a beautiful spot. Steep ledges surround it, except for small intervals, where there are gravelly beaches, upon one of which stands a fine linden. Shrubs abound upon the uplands. It will be, in a few years, more beautiful than now, thanks to the enlightened taste of the gentleman who owns it. He has planted many small trees, which will eventually cover it with forest growth, as was originally the case when the country was settled, and restore it to the condition in which all the islands of Boston harbor should be. Had they been kept so for the past two centuries, the forces of erosion would not have succeeded in practically sweeping some of them from the face of the earth, and destroying the contour of all." Over one hundred years later, the island contains several remarkable trees, including oak, maple, cedar, and birch. Most notable is an enormous oak in the center of the island that has become part of a camping area. The abundant shrubs described by Bouve in 1893 have likely been eliminated by these large shade trees. Groupings of huckleberry and viburnum appear to have self seeded and are mixed with greenbriar, dewberry, sumac, and poison ivy. Several grassy areas under large trees appear to be popular camping spots.

Wildlife
Survey in progress.

Geology
Masses of Roxbury Puddingstone conglomerate rise from the shoreline to a high point of 40 feet, creating a dramatic viewpoint and steep cliffs on the northern shore. Steep ledges surround most of the island several small sandy beaches and a tidal mudflat on the east side. The center of the island contains glacial till that supports tree and shrub cover.

Water Features
No constructed water features visible.

Views and Vistas
From the forty-foot cliff on the northern side of the island, one can see Boston, Peddocks, and Bumpkin. Views from other points on Langlee are of the surrounding islands and mainland areas including Ragged and Sarah Islands, Worlds End and Hingham Harbor.
 
Structures
Buildings
  • None
Fortifications
  • None
Other Structures
  • None

Did You Know?

Aerial View of a Glacial Drumlin in Boston Harbor

Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area is one of the very few places in the world where sea drumlins, glacially-formed mounds, may be found. They were formed by retreating glaciers about 15,000 years ago. More...