About Boston Freedom Trail
The Boston Freedom Trail Tour is a 2.5-mile (4.0-kilometer) route through Boston, Massachusetts. It passes through 16 sites important to American history. The Trail runs from Boston Common in the city’s center through the North End and Charlestown to the Bunker Hill Monument. It is mostly marked with brick. Simple ground markers with explanations, cemeteries, noteworthy churches and structures, and a historic naval ship are some of the places the trail stops.
Local journalist William Schofield had the idea for the Freedom Trail. In 1951, he proposed that a pedestrian trail be built to connect significant local landmarks. John Hynes, the mayor of Boston, chose to implement Schofield’s suggestion. 40,000 people a year were using the path by 1953.
The majority of the locations are free or ask for donations. The Old South Meeting House, the Old State House, and the Paul Revere House have entrance fees. The Freedom Trail is managed by the Freedom Trail Commission of the City of Boston. It is funded in part by donations from a number of charitable organizations and foundations, private philanthropy, and Boston National Historical Park.
Where to Start Freedom Trail
Boston Common marks the start of the Freedom Trail.
Where to Get a Free Freedom Trail Tour Map
Before leaving the Common you can walk over to the Visitor Information Center (147 Tremont Street). From there you can pick up a free National Park Service map of the Freedom Trail and Black Heritage Trail.
To get the free NPS map, you have to go up to the counter at the Visitor Center and ask for the Free Freedom Trail map.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO WALK THE FREEDOM TRAIL?
The 2.5-mile-long Boston Freedom Trail Tour usually takes about 90 minutes to 2 hours. It depends on whether you choose to stop and explore one or more of the 16 historical sites and attractions. If you would like to thoroughly examine the attractions, staffers recommend that you allow 30 minutes inside each site.
Freedom Trail Sites
Some of the major attractions along the way include:
- Boston Common
- Massachusetts State House
- Park Street Church
- Granary Burying Ground
- King’s Chapel
- King’s Chapel Burying Ground
- Benjamin Franklin Statue
- Old Corner Bookstore
- Old South Meeting House
- Old State House
- Boston Massacre Memorial
- Faneuil Hall
- Old North Church
- Paul Revere’s House
- Copp’s Hill Burying Ground
- Bunker Hill Monument
- USS Constitution
Boston Freedom Trail Operating Hours
Outdoor Freedom Trail sites such as Boston Common and monuments all day, every day.
Visitor hours for indoor sites vary, so call or check the website for each site that you want to visit.
Churches still in use for worship hold services on Sunday and sometimes at other times which you’re welcome to attend; these sites are not open to Trail visitors during these times.
Accessibility: Although many of the sites are wheelchair accessible, some are not due to their age and historical preservation restrictions, so check in advance at each site if applicable.
Boston Freedom Trail Tour Admission Cost
Most sites are free. The churches gratefully accept contributions to help with maintenance; King’s Chapel charges a small fee (donated to musicians) for concerts and Old North Church charges a small fee to offset the extra maintenance and repairs related to so many tourist visits. Three sites (Old South Meeting House, Old State House, Paul Revere’s House) charge modest fees for adults, with reduced rates for children, seniors, and students.
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