Spectacle Island

Winthrop, MA
Spectacle Island is one of the many Boston Harbor Islands that you can access by ferry at Long Wharf North. 

It is a 114 acre island that is perfect for exploring! In the summer you can swim, hike, and boat. Great views of the Boston skyline and Logan Airport. The Outer Loop encircles the entire island. Picnic benches are also located at the top. It took 3 hours because we ate our packed lunch at the top and walked the beach below. 


2 Miles  

Hike Time

3 Hours

Yesterday’s weather turned out to be a beautiful late summer surprise. We planned to do some hiking on Spectacle Island and then return to Boston proper ahead of a predicted rain storm. 

Luckily, the rain never showed and we stayed on the island until 3 pm and then dined alfresco at Mother Anna’s on Hanover Street in the North End when we got back to the mainland. It just doesn’t get better than that. Total hiking for the day was just over 6 miles (including walking around the North End).

COVID – 19 precautions were in effect and everyone had ample space to safely take the short ride to and from Spectacle Island. We plan to go back and visit the other Boston Harbor islands. Ferry tickets were $22.95 for seniors – call ahead for reservations. 

Have masks will travel.

Looking out into Boston Harbor.

It's hard to believe this beautiful island was once a dump for the city of Boston!

Hard to believe this island was once used as a garbage dump for the City of Boston. It was earlier used for farming and then was the location of both a glue and grease rendering factory. 

Dead horses and cows were brought to the island by barge to be used for producing glue, hides, and horsehair. Grease was extracted from the offloaded garbage and made into soap, glycerin, and fertilizer.

Pictured below, you’ll notice some Coots were enjoying the day in the sun on what’s left of the dock where the barges brought in the horses and cows from the mainland for rendering.

Usually, you can see & hear the planes taking off from Logan but we only saw a few in the 5 hours we were on the island.

The Coots enjoying the sun.

Support the Cape Ann Community Foundation


Show your love for Cape Ann and give back to the communities you call home by purchasing a Cape Ann license plate!

All proceeds to go to supporting the area’s local non-profits!