• 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

History & Culture

Each of the 34 Boston Harbor Islands has a rich human history. We invite you to learn more about the people, places, objects, and stories associated with each of the islands, and with the island system as a whole.

Island Research
The islands vividly illustrate the region’s complex past and the continual effect of natural and human processes on their habitats, their uses, even their shapes. The islands are both a recreational haven for urban residents and tourists and a highly effective laboratory in which to learn about natural change, cultural history, and stewardship.

Did You Know?

CCC Workers

The Civilian Conservation Corps planted ornamental trees and shrubbery throughout Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area during the 1930s. In particular, structures of Gallops Island are lined with privet hedges, mock orange, snowberry, forsythia and coniferous trees.