The Other Freedom Trail

If you’re going to Boston this summer, be sure to walk the other trail: the Black Heritage Trail.  We visited Boston in August of 2018, when it was so gawd-awful hot that the main thing I remember about the Freedom Trail is how cool and inviting Faneuil Hall felt.

Spend some time there to cool off and listen to the ranger talk,
then go outside and have a lemonade.

But to enjoy a prettier walk with more trees, do the Black Heritage Trail. IMG_0116 The two trails, both marked out on the National Park Service (nps) map with the Black Heritage Trail in blue, meet at this bronze memorial:

Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial

So that’s where we started, which was a mistake––not a mistake to do the walk, just a mistake to start at that end.450px-Boston_African-American_Heritage_Trail  We walked that 1-1/2 mile route on a separate day from the Freedom Trail––equally hot, but lots more pleasant on the tree-shaded streets of Beacon Hill.


Although the nps brochure shows the route in blue and there is an occasional sign, there are no descriptions of the sites, nor are the sites marked (in order to respect the privacy of residents in the Beacon Hill area).

This building was something notable.  Maybe.


At first we thought this footprint might be a clue to the route, but it turned out to be graffiti.  The actual route markings are more classy than painted footprints, but few and far between.IMG_4096We ended up at the Museum at the African Meeting House,IMG_4100where we found an nps map with descriptions and pictures of each site along the way.IMG_0119  My advice: start at the African Meeting House OR take the ranger-led walk if available OR before you go, visit Black Heritage Trail on Wikipedia, and see the links for more information. IMG_4086But do go––it’s a beautiful walk in old Boston.

IMG_4091              Date of travel:  August 2018


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