Cradled within the arms of Boston Harbor are dozens of islands, ranging from a little dollop of land barely big enough for a seagull to land to the 188-acre Peddock’s Island, which has a network of roads and trails as well as a campsite for overnight stays.
Other islands within the harbor that allow camping include Grape Island, with quiet wooded trails and wild blackberries; Lovell’s Island, which has paths among the sand dunes and rocky tidal pools; and Bumpkin Island, with fields of wildflowers and the remains of an old stone farmhouse to explore. All of the islands offer an enviable solitude in full view of the twinkling lights of the city skyline.
While camping is not allowed on Georges Island, the island has a Civil War–era fort with ranger-led tours, as well as plenty of hiking trails along the beaches. Ferries leave from Long Wharf to Georges Island, where boats are available to other islands.
Campers must bring all water and other supplies with them to the islands (617/223-8666, www.bostonislands.org , June–Oct., ferry: $14 adults, $10 seniors, $8 children 3–11, free children under 3; camping reservations: 877/422-6762, www.reserveamerica.com , group sites $25, individual sites $8), which are jointly managed by the National Park Service and the State Department of Conservation and Recreation.