Visit Thompson Island

Private Event or School Group Access to the Island

Private ferry access is available throughout the week and year-round by appointment for Educational Programs, Site Visits or Tours, Weddings, Events, and Conferences. If you have booked an event or education program with Thompson Island, a private ferry will be scheduled for your group – please contact your Thompson Island liaison for times, dock location, and transportation information. 

Public Access to the Island

Individuals may visit Thompson Island via public access on Saturdays and Sundays, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Hike our many trails, explore the salt marshes, or relax along our beautiful beaches. There are no concession facilities on the island, so please remember to pack water and snacks before you board the ferry. 

 Directions   Trail Map

Public Access Schedule:


Departs EDIC, South Boston: 8:00am Noon 2:30pm
Departs Thompson Island: 11:30am Noon 4:30pm

(Ferry trip takes approximately 25 minutes.)


Departs EDIC, South Boston: 8:00am Noon
Departs Thompson Island: 11:30am 4:30pm

(Ferry trip takes approximately 25 minutes.)

Public Access Ferry Fee:


Adult: $17 per person, round trip
Children 3-12: $10 per child, round trip
Children Under 3: Free
*Cash only. Collected when boarding the ferry at Drydock.
*Should you have any questions prior to visiting the island, please send an e-mail to [email protected].

Thompson Island Safety Rules

  • Take a walking tour of the island.
  • Get to know the island with a Topographic Map.
  • Identify different types of clouds.
  • Get to Know a Tree.
  • Go on a Leaf Shape Adventure.
  • Create your own story.
  • Go on a Texture Adventure.
  • Lie down and explore the sky.
  • Talk about what is beautiful to you.
  • Visit as many sites as you can find on the island.
  • Explore colors in nature.

Whether you are visiting Thompson Island with your organization or through public access, a safe visit to the island depends on visitors assuming individual responsibility. As with any outdoor environment, visitors must be aware of the risks and hazards associated with the harbor and Thompson Island.

General Island Rules

“Carry-on, carry-off” is greatly appreciated—there are limited trash cans on the island.

Alcohol (unless part of an island event that holds a liquor permit)
Campfires (unless part of an island event/program)
Firearms and all other weapons
Dogs/Animals (exception made for service dogs)
Boat captains have discretion to deny passage for any violation of rules and regulations.

General Island Safety

Weather conditions change rapidly; dress in layers. Overdressing for the weather is always a good idea.
Bring sunscreen and a hat for protection from the sun.
Stay back from island cliffs and bluffs; they may be crumbly or undercut.

In the unlikely case of an emergency, contact a Thompson Island employee. If it is a life-threatening emergency and a phone is available, call (617) 343-4911. Tell the dispatcher that you are on Thompson Island in the Boston Harbor.

Wildlife and Insects

Respect Wildlife. Watch animals from a distance and never feed or follow them.
Insects that bite can be present on Thompson Island. Wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts will provide some protection from mosquitoes, biting flies, and ticks. Insect repellents containing 20-30% DEET on exposed skin and clothing are helpful. Some insects carry pathogens that can cause human disease. If you experience signs and symptoms of an insect-borne illness contact your physician. Thompson Island recommends visiting the CDC, WHO, and/or Mass.gov (Health and Human Services) websites for more information about vector species, prevention, and treatment.

Parking for the Thompson Island Ferry and Mainland Office

Thompson Island Dock (marked as 1 on the map below)

Our dock is located on Terminal Street, a small side road off Drydock Avenue in the Marine Industrial Park in South Boston.

Recommended Parking (marked as 2 on the map below)

Public (paid) parking is available in the garage at 12 Drydock Avenue. Please allow 15 minutes to park and walk over to the dock.

Thompson Island Dock and Parking

Walking from the garage to the dock:

Exit the garage on Drydock Avenue (if you’re facing Harpoon Brewery, you’re on the wrong side of the garage). Turn right on Drydock Avenue and walk one block, passing Dunkin Donuts on your right. Turn left onto Terminal Street. The ferry dock is 100 yards ahead just beyond the Boston Police Harbor Patrol Station. Look up for colorful banners with our name on them.  (For reference, the Summer Street Bridge is immediately to the right of our dock.)

Walking from the garage to the mainland office:

Exit the garage on Drydock Avenue, cross the street and turn right. The Thompson Island mainland offices are located at 5-11 Drydock Avenue in the Northcoast Seafoods building. Enter through the center door. Our offices are located on the second floor in Suite 2030.

Please do not park at the dock or in the office lot; you will be towed.

From your location

Click on the map below for driving directions to parking at 12 Drydock Ave., Boston, MA 02210. Please read the specific parking directions above to avoid getting towed.

Driving Directions

Driving Directions

From the West on I-90 (Mass Pike)

1. Follow I-90 East towards Logan/South Boston.
2. Take EXIT 25 to South Boston.
3. Keep LEFT on ramp toward Seaport Blvd.
4. Turn RIGHT onto Congress St.
5. At second light turn RIGHT onto D St.
6. Take first LEFT onto Summer St.
7. At second light turn LEFT onto Drydock Ave. (Marine Industrial Park).
8. Park at 12 Drydock Ave. on the LEFT.

From the North on I-93

1. Take exit 20-A, stay to your RIGHT towards South Station.
2. Stay in LEFT lane in ramp for South Station.
3. Turn LEFT onto Summer St. and proceed 1 mile.
4. Turn LEFT onto Drydock Ave. (Marine Industrial Park).
5. Park at 12 Drydock Ave. on the LEFT.

From the South on I-93

1. Take exit 20 towards (I-90/Logan Airport) and then keep LEFT onto I-90 East (Logan/South Boston).
2. On I-90 East keep in RIGHT lane and take exit to South Boston.
3. Bear RIGHT towards D St./Convention Center and turn RIGHT onto Congress St.
4. At second light on Congress Street turn RIGHT onto D Street
5. Take first LEFT onto Summer St.
6. At second light turn LEFT onto Drydock Ave. (Marine Industrial Park).
7. Park at 12 Drydock Ave. on the LEFT.

Public Transportation to the Ferry

Silver Line Service from South Station:

The Silver Line bus starts from South Station, underground near the Red Line. Take the SL2 bus (Marine Industrial Park/CityPoint) and get off on the corner of Harbor Street and Drydock Avenue. Walk directly up a side road towards the water. The ferry dock is about 100 yards straight ahead, just past the red fencing that defines our ferry waiting area. You will see flagpole banners with our name and photos of our students.

#7 Bus from Summer Street:

Board the #7 bus (Outbound, heading towards South Boston) on Summer Street outside of South Station. Get off at the Pappas Way/Drydock Ave./Marine Industrial Park stop. Once off the bus, take a left and follow Drydock Avenue. The dock is located at the first right on Drydock Avenue.