Grape Island- Boston Harbor Islands
If you're looking to explore the outdoors this weekend without travelling too far, check out the Boston Harbor Islands. In total, there are 34 islands and peninsulas enclosed in the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park. All of which, attract a wide variety of visitors from history lovers, naturalist, artists and more.
You can catch a ferry to a list of these islands from either Boston, Hingham or Hull. We live over on the south shore nearby Wessagussett Beach, where Grape Island can be seen out in the distance. Since the distance is relatively short, we paddled over with our canoe two weekends ago to spend our afternoon there. Due to the winds that day, we docked our canoe over on the south side rather than the main entrance on the island where the ferries pull-in. The beaches are rocky so bring comfortable footwear, possibly even water shoes.
Grape Island is a popular destination for campers, with designated campground sites and picnic settings. The island itself is a little over 50 acres with many dirt trails. We were able to explore all parts of the island within an afternoon.
The best part about Grape Island is the abundance of berries! We brought a container and collected blackberries and blueberries which were still in season. You can also find dewberries, raspberries, huckleberries and elderberries. And at the main entrance of the Island there were wild grapes . Of course, a word of caution to be careful what you eat as to avoid picking anything that may be poisonous and make you sick.
Grape Island is purely meant for recreational park use. You will not find any stores or businesses there. The closest aspect to the urban world is the Boston skyline which can be seen from the shorelines. We loved this mini-escape that was particularly right in our backyard. It's wonderful to be able to explore new areas without travelling too far. We highly recommend that you check out Grape Island as well as the neighboring Island before the summer ends!
Kristy Albano & Matt Pickering