This 62 acre island, located 2.2 miles from Hingham, is one of the smaller islands in the Boston Harbor. Standing at seventy feet with sixty-two acres of land, Bumpkin Island’s sloping hiking paths, beautifully diverse vegetation, rocky shores and rich history makes this little, yet mighty, island great place to picnic, camp or simply explore!
Traveling on a cloudy Sunday to Bumpkin was a real treat, because there was no one on the ferry and less than a handful of people on the island. Basically, we felt like we had the island all to ourselves, minus the rare, yet adorable, deer sighting! As we walked around, we read informative markers that told stories of the land years ago.
Bumpkin Island was first home to Native Americans. Then the island was leased to tenant farmers in the colonial period. In the 1900’s, philanthropist Albert Burrage founded a hospital for children with physical disabilities. This hospital had and early wheel chair ramp and spanned a good length of the island. What once was a large hospital a hundred years ago, is now a pile of yellow and red brick, in large chunks and in small clusters, thrown amongst the forrest floor and matted into the dirt, littered with leaves and wrapped in vine.
During World War I, Bumpkin was used as a US naval training base, that was later dismantled. The hospital briefly re-opened, but closed in World War II and later burned down. Tons of larger than life weeds and purple thistle bushes waving the breeze, grow in between the ever-growing cracks of the old naval training base. Larger than life and perfectly symmetrical windows, carved out from cement, give away it’s rigid history. The old farmhouse has a charming, yet vintage feel, covered in vines, tall weeds, growing trees and grasses. A few feet to the right is two lovely benches overlooking the Boston skyline at afar and Peddock’s Island in front.
Ever feel like what you discovered somewhere isn’t even half of what could of been revealed before your very own eyes? Well thats what Bumpkin feels like, a hidden gem, tucked away in the Boston Harbor, quietly beckoning folks to it’s jagged rock and sharp shelled shores, in promise of plentiful crustaceans. A short jaunt down the island’s sandbar and you feel like you are out in the middle of the ocean, looking back at the Bumpkin as if you had sailed away.
To explore Bumpkin Island, take the ferry from Hingham Shipyard out to the island. Tickets are, roughly, $19.00 per-person and if you get to Hingham Shipyard early enough, there is plenty of parking for little or no cost. Remember, always be prepared: wear closed toed shoes, bring sanitizer, plenty of water, snacks, bug spray, a pair of tweezers for ticks and don’t forget to check the Boston Harbor Islands schedule before traveling 🧳