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The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail Boston Massachusetts
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Boston National Historical Park

Discover the revolutionary generation of Bostonians who blazed a trail from colonialism to independence by walking Boston's Freedom Trail. Sixteen historic sites, including the Downtown and Charlestown sites of Boston National Historical Park, are connected by the 2.5-mile (4 km) Freedom Trail that runs through downtown Boston and Charlestown and is marked by a red painted or brick line on the pavement.

Seven of the eight privately, municipally and federally owned and managed historic sites that comprise Boston National Historical Park are connected by the Freedom Trail, including Boston's Old State House, Old South Meeting House, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, Old North Church, Bunker Hill Monument and Charlestown Navy Yard. The eighth site, Dorchester Heights Monument, is located in the residential neighborhood of South Boston.

VISITATION:

Highest in July and August; lowest in January and February.

LOCATION:

Boston, Massachusetts

ADDRESS:

Superintendent
Boston National Historical Park
Charlestown Navy Yard
Boston, MA 02129-4543
Telephone: (617) 242-5644

OPERATING HOURS, SEASONS:

Visitor centers and sites are open year-round. Downtown visitor center (15 State Street), weekdays, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00p.m.; weekends and holidays, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Charlestown Navy Yard visitor information center open daily, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Downtown visitor center open until 6:00 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Most historic sites are open 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. peak season and 10:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m. off season. U.S.S. Constitution is open daily, 9:30a.m. to 3:50 p.m. All park sites (except U.S.S. Constitution) and both visitor centers are closed Thanksgiving, December 25 and January 1.

CLIMATE, RECOMMENDED CLOTHING:

Temperatures range from warm, humid summer days to cold New England winter days. Wear comfortable sportswear in season, with comfortable walking shoes.

DIRECTIONS:

All Boston National Historical Park Sites are accessible by public transportation. Park and ride facilities at MBTA subway(T) stations is an option to driving into the downtown area. The downtown visitor center (15 State Street) is at the State Street stop of the Blue and Orange subway lines. Water transportation runs frequently between downtown Boston (Long Wharf) and the Charlestown Navy Yard.

If driving, from Route 1 south and Route 93 north and south,follow the signs to the Charlestown Navy Yard (berth of U.S.S.Constitution). Further directions to downtown Boston are available there. There are many parking garages in the downtown area.

TRANSPORTATION:

To Park: access by Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), routes 1, I-95 and 93. Boston is serviced by Logan International Airport, bus, commuter rail and Amtrak stations. Easy access by the MBTA subway (T) station at the airport and points in and around Boston.

In Park: Boston is a walking city and most historic sites are within a short walk to one another. Points of interest, hotels and retail areas are accessible on foot or by the MBTA subway(T). Water transportation runs frequently between downtown Boston (Long Wharf) and the Charlestown Navy Yard. Limited visitor parking is located at the Charlestown Navy Yard. Several commercial parking garages are located in downtown Boston near the Freedom Trail sites and in the Charlestown Navy Yard.

FEES, COSTS, RATES:

Fees are collected at the privately owned and operated sites by self supporting associations working cooperatively with the park, including the Old South Meeting House, Old State House, Paul Revere House and U.S.S. Constitution Museum. There is no fee at the federally owned sites, including the Bunker Hill Monument, U.S.S. Constitution and Dorchester Heights Monument. Ranger-led programs on the Freedom Trail and at Faneuil Hall are also free.

FACILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES:

Visitor Center/Exhibits: Boston National Historical Park sites provide information in a variety of ways, including tours, lectures, costumed programs, exhibits and publications. National Park Service Rangers are at the Charlestown Navy Yard, Bunker Hill Monument, Faneuil Hall and downtown visitor center, daily. Rangers conduct 90-minute walking tours of the downtown portion of Boston's Freedom Trail daily, from mid-April through November. Rangers present historical talks at Faneuil Hall and the Bunker Hill Monument year-round. At the Navy Yard, rangers conduct tours of the Charlestown Navy Yard, Commandant's House and World War Two destroyer U.S.S. Cassin Young, seasonally. The Dorchester Heights Monument and grounds are currently undergoing preservation and rehabilitation.

The cooperating sites of Boston National Historical Park offer a variety of programs and services. The U.S. Navy conducts tours of U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides) daily from 9:30 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. Nearby, the U.S.S. Constitution Museum features exhibits and a gift shop. In downtown Boston, the privately administered Old South Meeting House, Old State House, Paul Revere House and Old North Church all offer public programs, exhibits and gift shops.

Rest rooms are located at the downtown and Charlestown Navy Yard visitor centers, Faneuil Hall and the Bunker Hill Monument. Eastern National Park and Monument Association bookstores are located at the downtown visitor center and Bunker Hill(summer).

LODGING AND CAMPING FACILITIES:

There are no National Park Service RV or camping sites. Hotels and motels are located throughout the city. Private and state run camping and RV facilities are open seasonally in outlying areas.

FOOD / SUPPLIES:

Snack bar located at the Navy Yard (seasonal). Food and supplies in Quincy Market, the North End and Charlestown. There are many restaurants in the vicinity.

ACCESSIBILITY:

Rest rooms at the downtown visitor center, Faneuil Hall and Navy Yard are accessible wheelchair users. Voice/TDD #(617) 242-5689.

SPECIAL NEEDS:

Designated handicap parking spaces are located at the downtown and Charlestown Navy Yard visitor centers and at most Freedom Trail sites. Bus drop off and waiting is at the Charlestown Navy Yard and behind Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

RESERVATIONS/PERMITS:

Reservations are required for school and other educational groups. Permits are required for special park uses and commercial filming.

SPECIAL EVENTS, PROGRAMS:

Boston hosts a variety of special events and programs throughout the year. Harborfest, Boston's July Fourth celebration on Boston Harbor, features a variety of programs throughout the July 4th holiday weekend. The Charlestown Navy Yard has an active international visiting ships program.

ADJACENT VISITOR ATTRACTIONS:

Nearby NPS sites include Boston African-American National Historic Site, Adams National Historic Site, Minute Man National Historical Park, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, John F. Kennedy Birthplace National Historic Site, Longfellow National Historic Site, Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Saugus Ironworks National Historic Site and Lowell National Historical Park.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Boston National Historical Park Visitor Center: (617) 242-5690
Charlestown Navy Yard Visitor Information Center: (617) 242-5601
Bunker Hill Monument: (617) 242-5641

FREEDOM TRAIL LINKS

Freedom Trail Tour - The Freedom Trail Foudation

Freedom Trail Info - City Of Boston

The Black Heritage Trail®

Faneuil Hall

Paul Revere House

The Freedom Trail Boston Massachusetts

This page is presented as a public service announcement
and was produced by the National Parks Department.

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