Wilderness in Boston

I recently took a trip to see my college friend Z, who lives in Boston, and look what I found? (Well, actually he found them…) Wilderness areas just a short boat ride away from downtown beantown.


That’s Z on the boat with Boston behind him.

Run by the National Parks Service, the 34 Boston Harbor Islands have all sorts of old forts (that you can run around in), and from many of them you can see the city skyline.

outside the fort

Looking at the water from the fort on George’s Island.

Boston in the distance

From the dock area of Georges Island you can see the city! Go and visit website to see the process of building docks.

Several of the islands offer camping (you have to reserve a spot for your tent), and it’s a pretty easy way to get away from it all and not have to spend gobs of money, like it’s easy to do on Cape Cod, Nantucket, or Martha’s Vineyard. You do get to ride in boats to get there though, which I thought was pretty fun.

island 2

Once you arrive at Bumpkin, Peddocks or Grape Island (some of the camping islands) you don’t even have to hike very far, as you and your gear get delivered pretty close to campsites.

Grape Island

Grape Island debarkation


Peddocks Island has another fort to explore (dare you to sleep in the creepy abandoned fort!)

Of course, you can always just go for a day trip and just enjoy the cool waters and rocky beaches of the islands, which is all I managed on my first visit there.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.