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Deer Island Public Access Area
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

As of June 2, 2023, the Deer Island Public Access Area has fully reopened. Please note that small portions of the public access pathway will be closed on Monday, June 5 to allow contractors to safely work on decommissioning the damaged wind turbine.


deer island public access area

Deer Island Public Access area


A. David Mazzone Memorial = detail of sculpture


MWRA Deer Island Public Access Map

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Dog owners are reminded that dogs must be kept on a leash at all times and to clean up after their dogs.

Alcoholic beverages, camping, open flames, motorized or self-propelled vehicles (except motorized wheelchairs), and skateboards are prohibited.

Fishing is permitted along the shoreline and in the designated fishing area on the southern end of the pier.

Visitors are asked to stay on trails and stay off vegetated areas while they take root and get established.

Bicyclists are advised to wear a helmet, stay only on paved trails, and to respect pedestrians.

Bicyclists are reminded to:

  • Be courteous
  • Keep right
  • Do not impede other trail users

There is no admittance to the fenced-off wastewater treatment facility without prior approval.



Teachers, parents and students: turn your visit to Deer Island into an educational exploration.

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Deer Island features five miles of public walkways and trails for walking, jogging, sightseeing, picnicking, fishing and bicycling. The public access area is open to the public year-round, from sunrise to sunset. At Deer Island you'll also find:

  • 60 acres of open space, including 2.6 miles of paved handicapped accessible perimeter path;
  • A new handicapped accessible fishing pier;
  • 10 landscaped overlooks with interpretive signage;
  • An Irish memorial;
  • An interpretive sign honoring the Native Americans who inhabited Deer Island;
  • Dramatic views of the Boston skyline and Harbor Islands;
  • Spectacular closeups of airport landings and takeoffs;
  • Elevated look-in locations to learn about the treatment plant;
  • A memorial to the late Judge A. David Mazzone;
  • Low maintenance, native plant species similar to those of other Harbor Islands.


Deer Island, which connects to the town of Winthrop, Masschusetts, is accessible by car and public transportation.

By Car (updated 08/21/20):

  • For GPS, the address to use is 190 Tafts Avenue, Winthrop, MA 02152.
  • From Boston, the Callahan or the Ted Williams Tunnel, follow Route 1A North, McClellan Highway, until first traffic light.
  • Take right on Boardman Street to rotary, go half way around and continue on Saratoga Street
  • After passing “Entering Winthrop” sign take first right onto Pleasant Street (Route 145)
  • Discontinue following Route 145.
  • At “Stop” sign take a right on Shirley Street
  • Follow Shirley Street to Elliot Street take a right and follow Elliot Street around to the left.
  • Take a right on to Tafts Avenue and follow to the end. (Please note the speed limit is 20 MPH)
  • Parking for public alkways are offered at the head of the island. Please obey all parking restrictions and do not park within the Winthrop neighborhoods.
  • For visitors of the Teatment Plant, please proceed past the visitor's parking lot and check in at the staffed Security Gate. All guests must be pre-registered to gain entrance to the plant.

Printer-Friendly Driving Directions (PDF)

By Public Transportation: The Town of Winthrop Chamber of Commerce website includes information about Town of Winthrop bus services to Deer Island.


Tours are offered on Tuesdays and Fridays only. Prior reservations are required for all tours of MWRA facilities. Please see important security information below.

Group tours

We welcome visits from professional groups, civic clubs, and especially interested MWRA customers. Reservations and I.D. are required.

The MWRA generally offers tours of Deer Island each month from April through November beginning at 9:30 a.m. when there are people signed up. Tours are offered on Tuesdays and Fridays only, with reservations at least two weeks in advance. School groups and larger groups should make arrangements at least a month in advance. Deer Island is a large, industrial complex, so children 12 and under are not allowed due to safety concerns. Upon reserving a tour, visitors will receive a security form.

Important Security Information

Domestic visitors are required to complete and submit their form to MWRA Security 7 days in advance of their tours. International guests are required to submit their completed forms 14 days in advance, along with a copy of their passport.

Age Restrictions

Our tours take visitors to the heart of a working treatment plant filled with heavy machinery. For the safety of our visitors and our staff, we must restrict our tours to students in Grade 7 or above. Those interested in visting the plant with children in grades 6 or below are encouraged to try our Deer Island Scavenger Hunt.

No Pets Policy

NO PETS are allowed on facility tours. Only service animals trained to perform a specific task for the benefit of a person with a disability are permitted. 


To reserve a group or individual tour, please contact our Deer Island Tour office by phone: (617) 660-7607, or email:


MWRA’s Deer Island and Nut Island public access areas are part Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area, a diverse collection of 34 islands. More details on the park can be found at

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Updated June 2, 2023