The Freedom Trail in Boston

Boston Trail of Freedom

Every visitor to the capital of Boston follows the Boston Trail of Freedom Massachusetts once. It guides visitors to the city's attractions that best represent Boston's history. The Freedom Trail is marked with a red line on the sidewalk that you just have to follow.

Get to know the Freedom Trail on a Self Guided Tour

With these tips you can discover the Freedom Trail on your own. The Freedom Trail is a 4-mile walking trail through downtown Boston, the North End, and Charlestown. The Boston Trail of Freedom runs through the city and is freely accessible. However, individual sights are only open at certain times. You should plan about 4 hours for the entire trail, depending on your schedule and which sights you want to see more closely. You can too guided tour on the Freedom Trail* Reserve. You will receive a lot of background information about the sights along the route. Public restrooms are located at the Information Center on Boston Common, State Street Visitor Center, Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, Navy Yard, and Bunker Hill. All are handicapped accessible.

 

 

The sights along the Boston Trail of Freedom

1. The Boston Common
2. The State House
3. Park Street Church
4. Granary Burying Ground
5. King's Chapel
6. Old Corner Bookstore
7. Old South Meeting House
8. Old State House
9. Massacre site
10. Faneuil Hall
11. Paul Revere House
12. Old North Church
13. Copp's Hill Burying Ground
14. USS Constitution
15. The USS Constitution Museum
16. Bunker Hill Monument

 

 

The Boston Common

This area was originally owned by William Blackstone, who came to Boston in 1622. Boston Common is America's oldest public park and is a great place to start walking the Boston Trail of Freedom. It covers 50 acres of open land and was historically used by Boston residents for cattle grazing. Later it served as a militia parade ground. The British Army used it as a camp during the Siege of Boston. For many generations, the Common was the scene of public executions, duels, public feasts and speeches. The Common borders Tremont, Park, Boylston and Beacon Streets. From the information desk, follow the red brick path to the State House.

 

 

Boston State House - this is where the Boston Trail of Freedom begins
Boston State House - This is where the Boston Trail of Freedom begins

 

 

The Freedom Trail begins at the State House

Completed on January 11, 1798 to a design by Charles Bulfinch, the State House is widely acclaimed as one of the finest and finest buildings in the country. Today, the State House is the oldest building on Beacon Hill and the seat of the Massachusetts state government. Visitors can tour the Flag Hall and Houses of Parliament, as well as learn about the history of the building, the state and its legislature.

On Beacon Street. Open for visits, Monday to Friday, from 8.00 a.m. to 18.00 p.m. Free guided tours of 45 minutes. Call +1 617-722-2000 for more information and reservations. Accessible for the disabled.

Follow the path through Boston Common and across Park Street to Park Street Church.

Park Street Church

Park Street Church is the first stop on the Freedom Trail. Built in 1809, its steeple was for many years the first thing travelers saw when approaching Boston. For nearly two hundred years, Park Street Church was the center of the Christian faith. At the beginning of the 19th century speeches against slavery were held here.

On the corner of Park and Tremont Streets. Open: Sunday, 8.00 a.m. – 20.00 p.m. Phone +1 617-523-3383.

Follow the red path along Tremont Street to the Granary Burying Ground.

 

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Granary Burial Ground on the Freedom Trail
Granary Burial Ground on the Freedom Trail

Granary Burying Ground

With Revival-style front gates on Tremont Street, the Granary Burying Ground Cemetery is a final resting place for Revolutionary-era patriots such as Samuel Adams, Peter Faneuil, Paul Revere and John Hancock. It was originally called the South Burying Ground because of its location in the southern part of the city of Boston. It was later named the Middle Burying Ground as Boston expanded further south. The current name derives from an old granary that once stood on the site of Park Street Church.

Adjacent to Park Street Church on Tremont Street, open daily 9.00am to 16.00pm spring to Autumn, and in winter from 9.00 a.m. to 16.00 p.m. Disabled access.

Follow the path down Tremont Street to the King's Chapel.

King's Chapel

In 1688 the royal governor had the King's Chapel built in the town's graveyard when no one in town would lend him land to build a non-Puritan church. The first King's Chapel was a tiny church used by the king's representatives who had occupied Boston to enforce British law. In 1749 the building proved to be too small for the community. America's first architect, Peter Harrison, was commissioned to design a church "unparalleled in England." The new church was completed in 1754. The magnificent interior is considered one of the finest examples of Georgian church architecture in North America.

On the corner of Tremont and School Streets. Open daily in summer (except when trade fairs are taking place), open to a limited extent during the rest of the year. Opening hours are posted on a pillar at the entrance gate. Access for children free; Adults are asked to make a donation. Worship services: Wednesdays 12.15:11.00 p.m., Sundays XNUMX:XNUMX a.m.

As you exit the King's Chapel, turn right and follow the path to the graveyard.

Follow the Freedom Trail down School Street and you'll see a half-smiling, half-serious statue of Benjamin Franklin in front of Old City Hall and a plaque in the sidewalk commemorating the first public school. This is the first portrait statue erected in the United States. It was also the site of the first public school, the Boston Latin School (1635), which still operates in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston.

Follow the path to the Old Corner Bookstore.

Old Corner Bookstore

Thomas Crease built the house on the corner of School and Washington Streets in 1718 and used it as an apothecary and residence. It became known as the Old Corner Bookstore when the Ticknor and Fields publishing house was based here from 1832 to 1865. Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Henry David Thoreau were among the 19th-century visitors.

Historic Boston Incorporated, a charitable organization dedicated to protecting historic buildings in Boston, purchased the Old Corner Bookstore in 1960 to prevent its demolition and restore it to how it looked in the mid-19th century.

Follow the path across School and Washington Streets to the Old South Meeting House.

Old South Meeting House

The Old South Meeting House was constructed in 1729 as the tallest building in colonial Boston. In the years leading up to the Revolution, people gathered here to protest the British government, the Boston Massacre, and other taxes. Anger boiled over on December 16, 1773, when 5000 angry colonists came to the Old South to protest the tea tax, starting a revolution with the Boston Tea Party. Today you can visit the spot that changed America's history forever.

An audio program lets you relive the Boston Tea Party. After an award-winning restoration, the meeting house shines in its former glory. In the museum shop you will find books, travel guides and souvenirs. 310 Washington St. daily open, 9.00 a.m. – 17.00 p.m. Moderate entrance fees. Phone (617) 482-6439. Disabled access.

After exiting the Old South, turn right onto Washington Street. Follow the path 2 blocks to the Old State House.

 

Old State House on the Freedom Trail
Old State House on the Freedom Trail

Old State House on the Freedom Trail

Built in 1713, the Old State House served as the headquarters of the British government in Boston. It served as a trading exchange, a general meeting place, a place of revolutionary debate in the legislature, and a symbol of royal authority in the colony. The building played a central role in Revolutionary history, from the 1770 Boston Massacre, which ignited the fire of the Revolution, to the reading of the Declaration of Independence from its balcony in 1776.

Today the Old State House is a city history museum operated by the Bostonian Society. On the corner of State and Washington Streets. daily Open from 9.00:18.00 a.m. to 1:617 p.m. The first floor is accessible to the disabled. Tel. +720 1713-XNUMX-XNUMX.

Stand under the balcony of the Old State House and face east. There is the scene of the Boston Massacre.

Boston Massacre Site

On the way out of the Old State House, one notices the ring of cobblestones marking the site of the Boston Massacre. Today there is a traffic island at this point. This event helped ignite the spirit of revolution in the colonies. Five men were killed in this standoff between patriots and British redcoats on March 5, 1770, including Crispus Attacks, the first black man to die in the revolution.

From the Old State House, follow the path across State and Congress Streets. Follow the path down Congress Street to Faneuil Hall.

 

Faneuil Hall
Faneuil Hall on the Boston Freedom Trail

Faneuil Hall

As the 'cradle of liberty', Faneuil Hall was the site of many heated town meetings. Built in 1742 by the merchant Peter Faneuil and given to the city as a gift, Faneuil Hall served as an open meeting hall for more than 250 years. Here the citizens of Boston protested against British tax policies in the 1760s. Their protests eventually led to the American Revolution.

Located across from Quincy Market. daily open Mon.-Sat. from 10.00 a.m. to 21.00 p.m., Sun. 11.00 a.m. to 19.00 p.m. National Park Rangers hold daily historical lectures in the Great Hall on the second floor. Disabled access. Tel +1 617-523-1300.

Follow the path from Faneuil Hall to the North End to the next stop, Paul Revere House.

 

Paul Revere House
Paul Revere House on the Freedom Trail

Paul Revere House

Built around 1680, this is the oldest building in downtown Boston. From 1770 to 1800 the patriot and silversmith Paul Revere lived here. Revere started from here on his famous "Midnight Ride".

19 North Square. This home is owned by the Paul Revere Memorial Association. Opening hours: daily, 10.00 a.m. – 17.15 p.m. Partially accessible for the disabled. Phone +1 617-523-2338.

Follow North Street. Take the first left onto Prince Street and right onto Hanover Street. After two blocks, cross Hanover Street onto Paul Revere Mall. Walk through the Paul Revere Mall to the Old North Church.

 

Old North Church on the Freedom Trail
Old North Church on the Freedom Trail

Old North Church on the Boston Trail of Freedom

The church was built in 1723, making it the oldest church building in Boston. On April 8, 1775, the church's sexton, Robert Newman, placed two lanterns in the steeple to warn Paul Revere and others of British troop movements. Thus he ignited the Revolutionary War and helped give birth to the United States.

193 Salem Street. Old North is still used today by the Episcopal Church for Sunday services. Open Tue-Sat 10.00:17.00 a.m. – 10.00:11.00 p.m. Sun. 11.30 a.m. – 17.00 a.m., 1 a.m. – 617 p.m., Mon. closed. Free admission; voluntary donations welcome. souvenir shop. All profits benefit the Church. Tel +858 8231-XNUMX-XNUMX.

Cross Salem Street and follow the path up Hull Street to Copp's Hill Burying Ground.

Copp's Hill Burying Ground

Located on Hull Street, Copp's Hill Burying Ground is the final resting place for merchants, artisans and traders who lived and worked in the North End. The Copp family gave the land to the town and the property was named after the family. The cemetery contains thousands of free blacks who lived in a community called the New Guinea Community on what is now Charter Street. Because of its high location, the British used the square as a vantage point to aim their guns at Charlestown during the Battle of Bunker Hill.

daily open from 9.00 a.m. to 16.00 p.m.

Follow the path down Hall Street. Continue right over the North Washington Street Bridge to Charlestown.

 

USS Constitution
USS Constitution on the Freedom Trail

The USS Constitution on the Freedom Trail

The USS Constitution first put to sea on October 21, 1797 at the Charlestown Navy Yard. She is the oldest seaworthy warship in the world. Her mission in the 1790s was to protect American trade in the Caribbean from French attacks. She defeated HMS Gerriere in the War of 1812, the first in a long line of victories in that war. During this heated naval battle, amazed at the way cannonballs ricocheted off her bow, the sailors cried out, "Her sides are made of iron!" Hence her nickname: "Old Ironsides".

daily except Monday open for free guided tours from 10.00am to 18.00pm.

Follow the path through the Navy Yard to the USS Constitution Museum.

USS Constitution Museum

The USS Constitution Museum, a private non-profit museum, includes a theater, historical exhibits, interactive exhibits and gift shop. The museum brings the history of the USS Constitution to life by collecting, preserving, and displaying over 3000 original items.

daily open 9.00 a.m. – 18.00 p.m. Tel +1 617-426-1812.

Follow the path out of the Navy Yard, walk down Adams Street to Monument Square and Bunker Hill Monument.

 

Bunker Hill on the Freedom Trail
Bunker Hill on the Freedom Trail

Bunker Hill Monument

"Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!" This legendary command commemorates the will of the American colonists who rallied here on July 17, 1775 to take on the might of the British army in the famous Battle of the Bunker Hill, the first formal battle of the American Revolution. A 73 m high obelisk from 1843 commemorates the battle and stands on the site of the colonists' main fortification. There are exhibits in the adjacent visitor's hall, and national park rangers give lectures on the battle.

Bunker Hill Museum open daily year-round 10.00 a.m. to 18.00 p.m.; Monument daily from 10.00 a.m. to 17.00 p.m. Tel +1 617-242-5641

Follow the path out of the Navy Yard, walk down Adams Street to Monument Square and Bunker Hill Monument.

 

Questions and Answers

What is the Freedom Trail Boston?

The Boston Trail of Freedom is a marked walking trail through the city that leads to historic Boston landmarks. Many of these played a role during the American Revolution.

How many miles is the Trail of Freedom in Boston?

The Trail of Freedom in Boston is 2,5 miles long, that's just over 4 kilometers.

Where does the Freedom Trail start in Boston?

The Freedom Trail in Boston starts at Boston Common and leads past the State House along a red trail marker built into the sidewalks to various sights of the city.

Is the Trail of Freedom free?

You can walk the Trail of Freedom without paying admission. To do this, simply follow the red line that shows the way on the sidewalks along the route. However, there are some sights along the way that cost admission. There are also guided tours that cost a bit.

What makes Boston special?

Boston is one of the most interesting cities in the Northeast if you are interested in history. Founded in the time of the Pilgrim Fathers, it played a prominent role in the American Revolution. Many buildings from this period still exist today. At the same time, Boston is a young and vibrant city. The reason for this are the universities in the city and its vicinity. In addition to Harvard, this also includes the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Boston is also a prosperous city, as evidenced by residential neighborhoods such as Beacon Hill. In addition, culture plays a major role. There are several museums worth visiting.

 

 

Do you like to travel by motorhome?

  • Do you want to rent a motorhome? Then you will find information and a selection in these  booking options.
  • Check our packing list for campersto see whether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour.
  • Near Boston is the Lorraine Park Campground, 133 Jenkins Rd, Andover, MA 01810, United States. However, there are others in the region.
  • A  Campsite guide for the region (in English) * you can order here.

 


Travel Arrangements:

Getting to the Freedom Trail

Arrival by plane, bus or train*. KLM, Lufthansa, Air France, United as well as British Airways all fly to Boston. You can rent a car there.

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Source Boston Trail of Freedom: Field research and numerous trips to the city. In any case, we financed this trip ourselves.

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs as well as TravelWorldOnline, Pixabay, Unsplash

The Freedom Trail in Boston
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