Peddocks Island: Prince Head and West Gut

The dune of the Prince Head on the Southeastern edge of Peddocks Island:

peddocks island

While not the largest Boston Harbor Island (that title goes to Long Island) Peddocks ranks second in area but has the longest coastline of any of the islands due to its three protruding bluffs or “heads.” The south side of the island is very densely wooded and contains at least two marshes. It also has some long stretches of beach, which are rocky in parts and sandy in others, with the dune sandbar spit of Prince Head, a particularly odd geological formation. A noticeable feature is that the South of the Island is wilderness,  quite a different landscape that the North head of the island, (which I visited last March and documented here) As the North head has a public dock, visitor center and the ruins of Fort Andrews, which we visited this past spring.

The large bluff known as Price Head sits strangely at the end of a narrow spit on the Southeastern side of Peddock’s Island:

Peddocks island

The Prince Head is an odd geological phenomenon, likely formed by a combination of years of tidal and wind erosion of the drumlin. The narrow neck connecting the head to the main island is less than fifty feet across and low tide, and is nearly obscured at high tide. The south side of the island forms a well protected cove between the Prince Head and the West Head. It is in this area where there is a marsh (pictured below):


The narrow neck to Prince Head near low tide:

peddocks island

Moving further west the area becomes very densely wooded, with the woods giving away to dunes and a very rocky beach (pictured below). Located at this very point is West Gut, a narrow area of water between Peddocks Island and Quincy’s Nut Island. Defined as a narrow body of water between two land masses, a “gut” is a geological feature that can be found twice on Peddocks: The other being Hull Gut on the North side of the island. For a better perspective, check out the nautical chart on the the last post about Peddocks.

boston harbor

Below is a view looking East from Peddocks, with the City of Boston in the distance:

peddocks island

Despite being relatively close to the major population centers of Quincy and Weymouth, South Peddocks can offer some desolate landscapes, like this one of the outgoing tide:

peddocks island

And this one, of some tidal pools, with Prince head in the background:

peddocks island boston harbor

Like many of the Boston Harbor Islands, Peddocks is littered with structures that have washed ashore over the years. Not being in the public eye of a well travelled area, these objects tend to accumulate and corrode.

beach trash

The silhouette of Prince Head in the background against an old pipe and valve  which  presumably connects some of the dwellings on the island to mainland:

peddocks island boston harbor

A panoramic view of Price Head, West Head and South Peddocks Island:


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