Go Kayaking

Kayakers and paddlers are encouraged to visit the Boston Harbor Islands national park area, which includes plenty of protected water, interesting coastline, and coves to explore. You can fish, camp, hike the island trails, walk along the shore, and more. Whether arriving by motorboat, sailboat, or kayak, everyone’s invited to come ashore to see all that the islands have to offer. Permits are required for on-island camping. 

Travel through protected waters among the islands of Hingham Harbor on your own. Or participate in one of our free, ranger-led kayaking lessons at Spectacle Island.

Boat Ramps

Communities around Massachusetts have free public boat ramps with parking areas.  The parking areas may carry a small daily fee. Here are the closest local boat ramps to the islands:

  • Winthrop: 649 Shirley Street
  • Boston: 600 Morrissey Boulevard (gravel ramp)
  • Quincy:  137 Bayview Avenue
  • Hingham: 5 Otis Street
  • Weymouth: 92 Beach Road
  • Hull: 180 Main Street (gravel ramp)

 Gravel ramps are not recommended for all vehicles at low tide.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are there moorings at the Boston Harbor Islands?

There are currently twenty-five moorings adjacent to the Boston Harbor Islands. Twelve are near Spectacle Island, two near Gallops I., two near Georges I., and nine near Peddocks Island.  These moorings are currently available at your own risk, and on a first come first serve.    

What about sea kayaking?

Boston Harbor and the islands offer spectacular opportunities for the experienced sea kayaker.  Exploring the islands by sea kayak offers more flexibility than using the park ferry and shuttle system—kayakers can have an adventure not yet available to most visitors who are limited to islands that have piers and ferry service.  Remember: The harbor is an active port used by HUGE cargo ships and tankers.  They cannot stop to avoid a kayak!  We suggest paddling in Quincy or Hingham Bay.

Park Map

Boston Harbor Island Map