• 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: What's in a name?

Over the centuries the names of some islands in Boston Harbor have changed. We use the island names—and standard spellings—adopted by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. Like many proper names, these official spellings may not conform with rules that apply to other words. For instance, possessive apostrophes are rarely used.

Alternate island names (and Harbor islands not within the park) are listed below.


Did You Know?

Double-crested Cormorant Rests at Boston Harbor Islands

Shag Rocks in Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area offers roosting sites for cormorants and other seabirds that fish the surrounding waters. Better known in Britain as “shags,” cormorants gave this rocky outcropping its name. More...