“walk your way to 17 historic sites”
The Freedom Trail is a red (mostly brick) path through downtown Boston, Massachusetts, that leads to 17 significant historic sites. It is a 2.5-mile walk from Boston Common to USS Constitution in Charlestown. Simple ground markers explaining events, graveyards, notable churches and other buildings, and a historic naval frigate are stops along the way. Most sites are free; Old South Meeting House, Old State House, and Paul Revere House have small admission fees; still others suggest donations. The Freedom Trail is a unit of Boston National Historical Park and is overseen by The Freedom Trail Foundation and the City of Boston's "Freedom Trail Commission." The trail was originally conceived by local journalist William Schofield, who since 1951 had promoted the idea of a pedestrian trail to link together important local landmarks. John Hynes, the mayor of Boston, decided to put Schofield's idea into action. By 1953, 40,000 people annually were enjoying the sites and history on the Freedom Trail. In 1974, Boston National Historical Park was established. The National Park Service opened a Visitor Center on State Street, where they give free maps of the Freedom Trail and other historic sites, as well as sell books about Boston and US history. Today, people walk on the red path of the Freedom Trail to learn about important events as the people worked to gain independence from Great Britain. Some observers have noted the tendency of the Freedom Trail's narrative frame to omit important historical elements, such as the site of the Tea Party or the site of the Liberty Tree.nMembers of the Boy Scouts of America who hike or camp along the Freedom Trail may be eligible for the Historic Trails Award.
Growing up in Boston, every kid did the Freedom Trail at least once with their school or parents. You'll want to plan at least half a day to accomplish the trail. It's 2 and a half miles long and takes about 2-3 hours to walk. Plus, you're definitely going to want to stop at a lot of the historic sites. The Freedom trail is obviously free, and there's plenty of stops along it for food and drinks.
History nerd that I am, I can't get over how much has happened in such a small area. I love that you can take your time walking it. And if you're into this, then check out the Black Heritage Trail as well! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Heritage_Trail
Traveling on the Freedom Trail shows you how small historical Boston really was. The trail is free, clearly marked and you can go at your own pace. You can see almost all significant points in a few hours. If you want to nerd out and read every sign and gravestone, and go inside every church the Trail will take a full morning or afternoon.
A good way to get out and explore the city. Start at the visitor center and follow the red line or brick. I bought a map and stopped using partway through. You can find more information when you arrive at each location than you do in the small map.
We only got 2 miles into the trail before we had to quit for the day. So much history in such a small space. It seemed like we read every plaque and sign in every church, meeting hall, and graveyard. The sites along the trail fomented such curiosity that we frequently googled our phones for even more information.
I took a large stroller along the trail, which was difficult in parts due to the narrow sidewalks. But it is possible; most people were polite and allowed the babies to stroll through.
We even saw some democracy in action with a protest blocking our way along the trail.
Make sure you wear your comfy shoes, cause you're in for an awesome hike. We grabbed a map while we were in the park and followed that. Just keep an eye out for the groups of people if you get too lost. This hits some amazing historical sites through out Boston. I loved the whole thing, be sure to bring water and maybe a snack or two! Took us about three hours with pictures and stops to admire the views.
Great historic tour, fantastic guides, and the perfect length. Definitely would recommend.
Do NOT...DO NOT go to the visitor tiny box stand...what a joke. Follow the red line all by yourself...easily marked...unless you are blind...
Historically Architecturally beautiful..
This tour is a staple of a Boston visit. It's definitely a long-haul, but you can curate a tour yourself checking out the ghost sites, etc. Probably the densest area of Early American Historical markers and locations....ever. If you're feeling crazy and of-age you can even "drink" the freedom trail.
The tour is VERY dense with information but the sites are really unique and bring to life so much of the stories and info you learned about in history class while growing up.
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