NEB TV: Boating the Boston Harbor Islands


In this special episode of New England Boating TV, we explore the fabulous Boston Harbor Islands National Park, a unique public resource and national treasure.

Starting things off is a camping segment on Bumpkin Island in Hingham Bay. Bumpkin is a small, wooded island that once served as home to a hospital, a World War I POW camp and a Navy base, but is now open to boaters seeking a unique urban camping experience.

Later in the show, members of the Massachusetts Division of Conservation & Recreation, one of several state and federal agencies that manage the park system, take co-hosts Tom Richardson and Parker Kelley on a tour of several other islands in the harbor, starting with Peddocks Island. Peddocks is home to another campground, this one featuring several well-appointed yurts, as well as open sites. The island also boasts great swimming beaches and scenic overlooks, as well as the ruins of a former Italian POW camp, Navy barracks, and long-range mortar bunkers.

Next up is Georges Island, home of Fort Warren. Built in the mid-1800’s, the fort is well camouflaged from the water, belying its sprawling interior. Tom and Parker are given a brief tour of the fort, including a ghost story involving the mysterious “Lady in Black,” who is said to roam the ramparts after dark.

Also featured is Spectacle Island, which serves as the centerpiece of the Harbor Islands system. Built on a former city dump, Spectacle is home to a public marina, where boaters can rent a slip or mooring. The marina makes a convenient home base for an Boston Harbor boating vacation.

Of course, no tour of the Harbor Islands would be complete without a visit to Little Brewster Island and the famous Boston Light. Lightkeeper Sally Snowman gives Tom and Parker a tour of the grounds and the lighthouse, which celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2016. Get ready for some amazing view of the harbor, the Boston skyline and the open Atlantic!

The featured dock-and-dine in this episode is the Barking Crab on the Fort Point Channel, known for its fun, festive atmosphere and fantastic seafood.