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.
But to enjoy a prettier walk with more trees, do the Black Heritage Trail. 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:
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. 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).
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.We ended up at the Museum at the African Meeting House,where we found an nps map with descriptions and pictures of each site along the way. 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. But do go––it’s a beautiful walk in old Boston.
Date of travel: August 2018