Deer Island is important to the city of Boston for a number of reasons. One, is his home to the second-largest sewage treatment plant in the United States (and processes wastewater from over 40 communities in the area). Two, it’s got a lot of history; and three, it’s a beautiful place to take a stroll and get amazing views of the harbor, the city skyline, and Logan airport.
Technically part of Winthrop, Deer Island is included in the Boston Harbor Islands Recreation Area and offers a leisurely 2.7-mile loop trail that circles around the wastewater treatment plant. There are a couple trails that shorten the loop as well, and offer more elevated outlooks of the surrounding area.
Recently erected on Deer Island is a memorial dedicated to the 850 Irish immigrants who died while in quarantine on this island, having fled the Irish famine and taken ill on the journey over. There is also a memorial to the Nipmuc Native Americans, who were exiled here by the British during King Philip’s War. Finally, the island has been host to both a prison and an orphanage during its troubled history.
You can drive to Deer Island if you have a car; there is a small parking lot and street parking. Otherwise, take the Blue Line to Orient Heights Station and then the 713 bus. Make sure to pack some binoculars so you can take in all the sights!