Walk through history...
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile urban walking trail through American history. Beginning on the east end of Boston Common the trail snakes its way past many important landmarks in the city of Boston before reaching its terminus at the Bunker Hill Memorial north of the Charles River in neighboring Charlestown. On this beautiful 60-degree St. Patrick's Day I decided to walk the trail to Paul Revere's house at the entrance to Boston's North End.
The first, and possibly most impressive, site I came to is the Massachusetts State House. Sitting atop Beacon Hill, Massachusett's state capitol has been in continual use since its completion in 1798. It has a impressive golden dome once covered in copper by Paul Revere. It also sits on land that was once John Hancock's cow pasture.
Heading down Tremont Street the next stop was the Granary Burying Ground. This may be the coolest part of the tour, not just because I have a weird fascination with old cemeteries. This is the final resting place of many famous Americans including Paul Revere, Sam Adams and the victims of the Boston Massacre. In the middle of the cemetery is a memorial to Benjamin Fraklin's parents who are also buried there.
King's Chapel is next on the trail. Sadly, flash photography is not permitted inside and I'm not skilled enough with a camera to know how to take decent pictures otherwise. One of the earliest non-Puritan churches in Massachusetts it is still holds regualr services to this day. Inside is an old-fashioned raised pulpit and cushioned pews that are sectioned off into quadrants instead of rows.
The trail skirts past Old City Hall (now a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse) and a large statue of Bejamin Franklin before coming to the Old South Meeting House. Here, on a winter's night in 1773 a meeting on British taxation lead to a defining moment in revolutionary history- the Boston Tea Party. Today it can be toured as a museum.
Continuing north to State Street I approached the Old State House. Although, not as impressive as the current State House it still serves a prominent role as Boston's oldest remaining buidling. Originally constructed in 1713 it served as the headquarters of the state's first governor, John Hancock.
The trail will then pass by Faneuil Hall, where colonist first rallied against the Stamp Act by decalring "no taxation without representation." Then it cuts through Faneuil Hall Marketplace where I was jolted back to the present by noisy chain restaurants and over-crowded bars.
Finally, I headed across I-93 and into Boston's North End. Here you will find one of the trails most popular sites, Paul Revere's House. The Revere family occupied the house for thirty years and it is from this location that Revere is believed to have started his famous Midnight Ride to warn the troops of the British Army's arrival.
From here the Freedom Trail continues north across the Charles River, past the USS Constitution and to the Bunker Hill Memorial. Due to time constraints I decided not to do the full route. However, I did spend quite a bit of time meandering through Boston Common, photographing various statues, the Boston skyline and other popular sites like Cheers (I'll include those in the photoset). The Freedom Trail comes highly recommended. Someone who enjoys colonial American history can spend days visiting each site. I'm not a history buff, yet I found this journey into America's past fascinating.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.