Freedom Trail Walking Tour

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The role that the city of Boston and its people played in the events leading to the American Revolution is hard to deny. That’s why the Boston National Historical Park was created to showcase the incredible landmarks that make up this history, most of which are encompassed in the 2.5-mile path known as the Freedom Trail. Perhaps one of the most well-known historical “sites” in and around Boston, this path from the Commons to the USS Constitution is a history lover’s paradise and a must for everyone visiting the area.

History

The Freedom Trail itself constitutes a 2.5-mile path that is lines by red bricks and takes visitors through the highlights of Boston and the sites within that played an important role in the American Revolution. Though one can start walking the trail at any point, it officially begins at the Visitor Information Center at Boston Common and ends at the USS Constitution in Charlestown Navy Yard.

Offering a mosaic-like look at Boston and America’s past, the buildings and landmarks that make up the Freedom Trail, 17 in all, each have their own special story and play a particular role in the history of this city and the Revolution that was born on its streets. Of these 17 attractions, seven are part of the Boston National Historical Park association: the Bunker Hill Monument, the USS Constitution, Faneuil Hall, Old North Church, Old South Meeting House, Old State House, and the home of Paul Revere.

Despite the age of its attractions, the genesis of the trial itself is only as old as the mid-20th century when local Boston journalist William “Bill” Schofield convinced then-mayor John Hynes of the importance of linking together the key historical landmarks of their city. From his journalistic “soapbox” Schofield laid out a vision to create a way for tourists and school groups to easily link and travel through the history of the area both visually and otherwise. He proposed marked, annotated journey through the key areas of Boston which would offer a complete view of the story that linked all of these important sites together.

Launched in 1951, the so-called Freedom Trail, named after the goals of the Revolution, was an instant success; by 1953 its popularity was obvious as it attracted more than 40,000 people in that year. By the time that the Boston National Historical Park association was established in 1974, the Trail was well-known throughout the country. The new association, in concert with the National Park Service, established a Visitor Center located on State Street, offering free maps of the trail to funnel visitors onto its path. This caused traffic on the trail to grow exponentially, allowing it to become one of the most popular historical attractions in the country.

Today, the Trial is maintained and operated by The Freedom Trail Foundation, established in 1964. As last count it claimed to host over 3.2 million people annually, many of which are school groups from the greater Boston area and beyond. The Foundation is also incredibly active in the efforts to promote American history education and to restore and maintain the sites along the trail that tell its story. The Freedom Trail is referred to as one of the most informative and authentic historical experiences not only in Boston, but in the entire United States.

About the Walking Tour

While anyone with a map can walk the Freedom Trail free of charge and enjoy learning about the sites along its way, the most comprehensive and entertaining way to traverse its 2.5 miles in on the official walking tour offered by the Freedom Trail Foundation.

The Walk in History Tour is led by guides in authentic 18th century garb representing “famous patriots” including Hannah Adams, William Dawes, and James Otis. Meant to offer a comprehensive look into the attractions along the trail, this tour is a great option for children and adults and lasts approximately 90 minutes. Tours run daily with up to 12 separate step off times during peak tourist months.

In addition to the official tours offered by the Foundation, there is also an official Freedom Trail app that walkers can use along their journey. There are additional educational resources available for students and teachers alike through the Foundation. Large group tours, including field trips, can be booked privately and with specific “historical” guides.

Why It’s a Must-See

The history of the Boston area draws many people to its streets each year. Offering visitors a unique inside view of the landmarks, circumstances, and people who played a major role in the American Revolution, this is a great city to learn in while still having fun. At the top of this list of educational opportunities, of course, sits the Freedom Trail and the official walking tours offered by its Foundation. This is a fun, entertaining, and educational look at these amazing and significant landmarks.

Where to Buy It

There are a number of ways you can enjoy admission to this attraction.

1. Purchase a ticket from the Freedom Trail Walking Tour when you get there.

2.  .

3. Purchase as part of a money saving package. Popular examples to the right.

4. Purchase a Tourist pass. The Freedom Trail Walking Tour is available on the Go Boston Card.