Deer Island, Boston

Boston, Massachusetts

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From a high hill on Deer Island, dramatic views spread out across Boston Harbor. You can see Boston’s sparkling skyline, lighthouses near and far, the harbor’s twenty-nine other islands, a new windmill at Hull, and open ocean all the way to Europe. At the southern end of Deer Island is a $4 billion technological marvel, a wastewater treatment plant that has ended centuries of sewage discharges into Boston Harbor. The result is water that is cleaner and clearer than any time in the last sixty years. Despite its name, Deer Island is not an island at all, but a peninsula connected by a narrow road to the town of Winthrop. At one time Shirley Gut, a 325-foot gap, separated the island from the mainland. The island’s hospitals, almshouses, prisons, detention centers, and bunkers were monuments to society’s sorrow. Today few remnants of the past remain, and Deer Island’s purposes are to keep pollution out of Boston Harbor and provide a clean, well-tended recreational area for visitors. The island’s new 2.6-mile handicapped-accessible perimeter walkway provides one of the best new walks in the Boston area.
Walk Boston

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Walk Boston

by Robert Sloane (editor) of WalkBoston (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)

From a high hill on Deer Island, dramatic views spread out across Boston Harbor. You can see Boston’s sparkling skyline, lighthouses near and far, the harbor’s twenty-nine other islands, a new windmill at Hull, and open ocean all the way to Europe. At the southern end of Deer Island is a $4 billion technological marvel, a wastewater treatment plant that has ended centuries of sewage discharges into Boston Harbor. The result is water that is cleaner and clearer than any time in the last sixty years. Despite its name, Deer Island is not an island at all, but a peninsula connected by a narrow road to the town of Winthrop. At one time Shirley Gut, a 325-foot gap, separated the island from the mainland.

The island’s hospitals, almshouses, prisons, detention centers, and bunkers were monuments to society’s sorrow. Today few remnants of the past remain, and Deer Island’s purposes are to keep pollution out of Boston Harbor and provide a clean, well-tended recreational area for visitors. The island’s new 2.6-mile handicapped-accessible perimeter walkway provides one of the best new walks in the Boston area.

©  Robert Sloane (editor) of WalkBoston/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Walking
Nearby City: Boston
Distance: 2.6
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 1.5 hours
Season: Year-round
Accessibility: Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Driving Directions: Directions to Deer Island, Boston

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Apr 2018