• The North Bridge, Concord MA.

    Minute Man

    National Historical Park Massachusetts

Places To Go

Minute Man Visitor Center
Rt. 2A, Lexington

Begin your park visit at the Minute Man Visitor Center, near the eastern entrance of the park. "The Road To Revolution," a multimedia theater program offered at the Minute Man Visitor Center, provides an excellent introduction to the main park story. The program depicts Paul Revere's Ride and the battles at Lexington Green, North Bridge and along the Battle Road. The visitor center exhibits include a forty-foot mural that portrays the fighting between Colonists and British Regulars. Park Rangers are on duty to answer questions.

Battle Road Trail

After leaving the visitor center, explore the Battle Road Trail. This five mile trail connects historic sites from Meriam’s Corner in Concord to the eastern boundary of the park in Lexington. The main theme of the trail is the Battle of April 19, 1775, that launched the American Revolution. More over, the trail interprets the broader human story of the people whose lives were altered by the events that took place here. Much of the trail follows original remnants of the Battle Road; other sections leave the historic road to follow the route of the Minute Men, traversing farming fields, wetlands, and forests.

If you do not wish to hike on the trail, you can stop at two key points, the Paul Revere Capture Site and the Hartwell Tavern Historical Area.

To drive to these points, turn right out of the Minute Man Visitor Center Parking Area. You will be on Route 2A west. Take the next available right turn into the Paul Revere Capture Site parking area. Leaving this parking lot, turn right. Travel westward through one blinking light. After the blinking light, approximately 1/4 mile on your right, you will find the Hartwell parking area. The Hartwell Tavern can be accessed from this parking area.

Hartwell Tavern in Autumn

Hartwell Tavern, located on Rt. 2A in Lincoln is an authentic period home, a tangible reminder of how people lived in this area at the outbreak of the American Revolution. The home of Ephraim and Elizabeth Hartwell and their children was not only a prosperous farm, but also operated as a tavern. The structure played a significant role as a landmark in the community as travelers to and from Boston stopped and shared the latest news and discussed important issues of the day. Ranger Programs are offered at Hartwell Tavern May - October

The Wayside: Home of Authors

The next stop along the park tour will be The Wayside: Home of Authors, where 19th-century authors kept the spirit of the Revolution alive by contributing to the creation of a American literary identity.

The Wayside: Home of Authors is closed for renovation. Extensive work is underway to restore the interior and exterior of the Wayside. Work is being conducted by the Historic Architecture, Conservation & Engineering Center, National Park Service, Northeast Region. Look for reopening in 2015.

During the Revolutionary era, The Wayside was the home of Samuel Whitney, muster master of the Concord Minute Men. During the literary renaissance of the 19th century, it was home to three families of authors. The young Louisa May Alcott wrote her first published work here. Extensive renovations to the house were made by Nathaniel Hawthorne, including the vaulted tower study. Harriett Lothrop, using the pen name "Margaret Sidney" wrote the "Five Little Peppers" stories at this "Home of Authors."

We are offering guided tours from the Wayside parking area June 29th - August 24th, 2013

The North Bridge, Concord MA.

Photograph by Richard Hollister

Continue on to Concord's North Bridge, site of “the shot heard ‘round the world.” Here in this beautifully restored 19th century commemorative landscape, featuring the famous Minute Man statue by Daniel Chester French, is a perfect place to reflect upon the things experienced on the tour. Sit and listen to a 20 minute Ranger Program to enhance your visit to this hallowed ground.

To get to the North Bridge from The Wayside, continue west on Lexington Road for 7/10 mile. Proceed straight through the traffic circle. When the Colonial Inn is directly in front of you, turn right onto Monument Street. The North Bridge Parking Area is 1/2 mile ahead on the right. Cross the street and walk the footpath to the Bridge (approximately 100 yards). The North Bridge Visitor Center is a 5-minute walk away. You can drive to the visitor center by continuing on Monument Street. Take your first left onto Liberty Street. The entrance to the North Bridge Visitor Center Parking Area is 1/10 mile ahead to your left.

North Bridge Visitor Center

North Bridge Visitor Center / Buttrick Mansion

Follow the path from the North Bridge to the North Bridge Visitor Center. Located in a brick mansion built in 1911 by descendents of the Buttrick family (Major John Buttrick was the colonial officer who first ordered his militia to fire upon British soldiers.), the North Bridge Visitor Center features a short video about the North Bridge fight, a bookstore and exhibits.

Among the most exciting exhibits in the park is a brass cannon, dubbed "The Hancock" in celebration of its storied past.

In 1775, this cannon, recently smuggled out of Boston, was one of four brass cannons hidden in Concord and its recovery was one of General Gage's chief motives when he sent British troops to Concord on April 19, 1775.

It is proudly displayed in the North Bridge Visitor Center upon a carriage made and donated by Park Volunteer Bill Rose.

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Did You Know?

The North Bridge Monument

The first monument at the North Bridge site was dedicated on July 4th, 1837. "The Concord Hymn," written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, was sung during the ceremony, and thus the phrase "the shot heard round the world" was linked with the North Bridge fight for the first time. Henry David Thoreau sang in the choir.