This Boston Island Beach Is A Hidden Haven For Treasure

One wouldn’t expect to stumble upon a Boston Harbor Islands’ beach and find treasures like these… but you can.

Everyone needs an escape from the crowded streets of a city every now and then, even in a city as great as Boston. Just off the coast of the seaport, in the middle of the Qunicy Bay, sits an island where people can do just that. Not only is this island a nice reprieve from the crowds, but it’s also a place that’s been known to hold hidden treasures for its beachcombers.

Thanks to its geographical location combined with a unique history (one that dates back to the Revolutionary War era), it’s become somewhat of a novelty destination. It offers peaceful shores from which to take in the Boston skyline, as well as active adventures for those who’d rather get their hands in the sand.

Making A Spectacle About Spectacle Island

This hilly island is the complete opposite of the city harbor that sits just 30 minutes away by ferry. The island itself covers a total distance of 114 miles, all of which are home to long-grass fields, hiking trails, beaches, and a marina. One might be wondering what discerns this island from the other 34 that make up the Boston Harbor Islands, and the answer lies in the history it has, that the others do not.

The Quincy Bay is no stranger to unusual things floating in its waters. Those familiar with their history texts will surely know that the Boston Harbor saw more than 300 chests of English tea thrown into the water in protest of unjust taxation. And that was only the very beginning. Before settlers even knew about Boston, however, Spectacle Island was a dumping ground for the Indigenous peoples to discard things such as fishbone scraps and shells – and this continued for roughly 1,000 years prior.

Its history, however, becomes more intriguing than that. Fast-forwarding several thousands of years, the island would become home to a glue factory, a quarantine hospital, and even two resorts that eventually had to be shut down due to illegal activity. By 1920, the island was serving no other purpose than to be a dump, which gave it a reputation for also having a horrendous stench. According to Roaming Boston, the smell is what helped sailors navigate on foggy days because it was so strong.

At this point, it’s completely within reason to wonder how Spectacle Island became the haven that it is today, and the process began in 1993. A renovation of sorts picked up speed on the island, and the renewal process involved building construction, hiking trail creation, and beach clean-ups… and it worked.

Related: You Can’t Take Glass From Glass Beach, And Other Things To Know About This California Coast

Looking For Hidden Treasure On Spectacle Island?

The allure of the island for many is its ‘treasures’ that can be found peeking out from just beneath the sand. Along this semi-rocky shoreline, the beach is full of sparkling pieces of beach glass, all of which, to beachcombers, tell a unique story. Visitors can find anything from century’s old pottery pieces to beach glass that dates back to the 1920s, easily identifiable by its color and composition. The most fascinating thing about it all is that even though it’s been there for so many years, there’s still so much of it to be discovered to this day.

Part of the reasoning for that is the law that maintains no visitor can take any beach glass or other findings off the beach. For some, this might put a damper on their findings. However, one stroll down this beach will reveal picnic tables full of colorful glass pieces, and various displays created with various historical artifacts that have washed ashore. Not only do people follow the rules (mostly), but they display their findings for other visitors to the island to enjoy and appreciate, as well.

Hiking On Spectacle Island

There’s no rule staying that all beach glass and artifacts must be found on the beach, and hiking the island’s various trails is a fun way to explore, too. With five miles of trails to explore in total, some will bring visitors to either North or South Drumlin; the former of which offers the best views of the Boston skyline.

Wild berries are also found throughout the island’s natural flora, and many people bring buckets with them for the day just to pick them. One should be sure to familiarize themselves with the berries, though, to be sure that they’re actually picking something edible.

To round out the day, a visit to the island’s visitor center and concession stand is a must. This is where visitors can grab a bite to eat and something to drink before going on their way to explore the rest of the island.

Next: A Visit To Fort Bragg: See The Stunning Glass Beach, The Skunk Steam Locomotive, And More

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