Island campers have always had to travel by boat, bring their own water, and pitch their own tents. Without any phones, bathrooms, or electricity, even the most seasoned campers might deem such an excursion “roughing it.” But now at Peddocks Island, yurts with electric lighting and power outlets can be rented by the night. There is running water at the campsite and restrooms with flush toilets just a short walk away.
Pictured: Peddock Island brand-new camping yurts, cabin-like structures, are available to the public for overnight stays. Next
The new yurts on Peddocks — accessible by ferry from piers in Quincy, Hingham, and Hull — are part of a plan to attract more visitors to the island and turn it into a camping mecca for all ages and levels of experience, from seasoned survivalists to novice backpackers. Camping is offered as an official activity at four harbor islands: Grape, Bumpkin, Peddocks, and Lovells.
Pictured: The chapel at Peddocks Island, built in 1941 Next
The white wooden clapboard chapel at Peddocks Island was built in 1941 and hasn't been used in years. The chapel is undergoing renovations: It has a new roof, and will soon receive replacement doors and windows salvaged from an identical chapel at the South Weymouth Naval Air Station that has closed. Renovations are expected to be completed by the fall.
Pictured: The interior of the chapel at Peddocks Island with peeling white paint during renovation Next
The welcome center is at the end of the pier, in a stout red-brick building that was built in 1910 as a guardhouse and held the cellblock for soldiers gone bad and misbehaved at Fort Andrews. The building has been fully restored and modernized. Its spacious, air-conditioned interior now houses maps, photo displays, educational exhibits, restroom facilities, and conference space.
Pictured: Old guardhouses and barracks are among 14 buildings left over from the military installation that dated to the turn of the last century. Next
The yurts are near a brick observation tower on the East Head of the island on a landscaped campground overlooking Hull Gut. A wooden fence along the edge provides a place to take in sweeping views of the harbor. There, gentle sea breezes filter through the leaves of maple trees. Long strands of invasive bittersweet vines sway in the wind.
Pictured: Alex Downer, 5, of Stoneham, explored the inside of a yurt at Peddock Island when he came with his family for an overnight visit on July 16. Next
The yurts — round, wood-framed structures with canvas walls and screened windows — provide plenty of room for six people to sleep comfortably. There are two sets of bunk beds, a double cot, a table, and benches to sit on. Four power outlets stand ready on the wall. There are tables and grills for meals. If you venture outside at night, turn on the electric light outside your screen door to find your way back. The yurts cost $40 per night.
Pictured: Siblings Jen, 3, and Alex Downer, 5, of Stoneham, explored the inside of a yurt. Next
The camping season runs from the end of June until Labor Day weekend, and campsites must be reserved in advance. Although the yurts on Peddocks are already booked for the rest of the season, Department of Conservation officials suggested that would-be campers check online for availability, as people sometimes cancel.
“It’s quite beautiful,” said Angelika Paul, 38, of Stoneham. “The alternative is being in a tent,” but with the yurt, it’s like, “Oh good, a house to go into!”
Pictured: Peddock Island camping yurts Back to the beginning
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