• 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

Places

There are 34 distinct places in the park, each with its own name: These are the islands and peninsulas that comprise Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. Each of these places has a natural environment, combined with an overlay of cultural features, that give it its character. The natural environment is described in "Natural Features & Ecosystems."

Structures have been built on many islands. On most of the larger islands, people have changed the land over time. Some sites are valued because of long use by people; others for the evidence of past use that they hold. The places in the cultural environment of the Boston Harbor islands are described in the sections linked above:

"Island Facts" presents the size, location, managing agency, facilities, natural history, historical sketch...and more for each island in the park.

Did You Know?

Sunset at the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area

In the 1800s, when the Great Famine drove a million or more Irish citizens to immigrate to the United States, Deer Island was the landing point for thousands of refugees, many sick and poverty-stricken, hoping to reach the Port of Boston. More...