Sunday, February 3, 2013

Battle Road: Lexington to Concord, MA

Directions: Click here for Google map

I believe that Battle Road is one of our nation's most amazing treasures.  This 5.5 mile dirt path is like a huge outdoor museum, open only to pedestrians and bicycles (and doggies!).  The path is a preserved section of road that existed in 1775, stretching from Lexington through Lincoln and into Concord, where the British marched from Boston Harbor to seize a supply of arms that the colonists had stored in Concord.  This march culminated in the "shot heard 'round the world", an ambush by the local Minute Men, and what many historians consider to be the official start of the American Revolution on April 19, 1775. 

All along the path, you will see original farms (that are still worked), original homes, an original tavern, the Paul Revere capture site, and many markers telling the stories of local residents and the battles that broke out on that fateful day.  There is also a wonderful Visitor's Center and four free parking lots (some with restrooms) along the path.  During the warm weather months, you can walk into many of the historic homes and you're sure to see lots of characters in costume! 

This path is probably the coolest place I've ever been in New England.  You really feel like you've stepped back in time!  The fact that it is free is incredible, although the Friends of Minuteman National Park organization will gladly accept any donation or volunteers if you are so inclined.  

One important note: this park requires all dogs to be leashed.  Please abide by this rule, as the historical preservation here is extraordinary and we are lucky that they allow dogs at all.

You can find more information by clicking here.  

Information source: National Park Service and Friends of Minuteman National Park

Here are the positive features:
  • It's a historical experience every American should have!
  • You can park at various points to explore different areas of the path
  • The path is very wide, like a real road
  • Nice restrooms are provided at Meriam's Corner, the Visitor's Center and the Hartwell Tavern parking lots
  • A great path for running with your pup
  • It's free and safe
  • There are picnic tables and fields if you want to pack a lunch
  • The farms are gorgeous and some are FULL of sunflowers in July!
  • Characters in costume and rangers abound in the warmer months
  • Downtown Concord is nearby, with many wonderful restaurants, shopping and inns
Negative features:
  • Don't forget to bring poopy bags!  None are provided and it would be shameful to leave a pile of poop on these grounds.
  • There are no trash barrels in the park, so plan to carry your trash (and doggie bags) with you as you walk.
  • You'll need bug spray for black flies and mosquitoes, especially in the spring/summer months (it's quite woodsy and marshy in some areas).
  • If you stick to the dirt path, you probably won't notice any ticks, but there are some fields, grass, and wooded areas where they will be waiting for you.
  • Restroom facilities are closed in the winter (check here for seasonal dates).


  1. Delighted to have found your blog! My pup and I explored some of Battle Road this past weekend and it's great. A long walk for her, but she slept like a rock later. One thing I wanted to add to the list of negatives however: Not only should people bring the poo bags, but be prepared to carry them with you the duration of the stay as well. There wasn't a single trash bin around, not even in picnic areas!

    Still, we look forward to another visit!

    1. Thank you so much! That's a great point about the trash barrels, I noticed that today when Cooper and I did the Canal walk in Lowell (blog post forthcoming).