The Black Heritage Trail®

Stroll through Beacon Hill, and you'd be remiss not to notice its charming Federalist Era townhomes, brick sidewalks, and gas street lamps. But, what you might not uncover is that the neighborhood's northern slope was once home to Boston's largest community of pre-civil war African Americans. 

The Black Heritage Trail®, a 1.6-mile trail of 10 sites throughout Beacon Hill, showcases the homes and community buildings of a thriving Black community formed during the nation's earliest years. Highlighting strops like the 54th Regiment Memorial, the Abiel Smith School, and the African Meeting House, The Black Heritage Trail shares a story of struggle, persistence, and hope as Black Bostonians organized toward the equality and freedom promised in America’s documents of national liberty.

Explore the Trail!

Walk the Black Heritage Trail®

The National Park Service, located at 46 Joy Street, offers free 90-minute tours of The Black Heritage Trail on a seasonal basis. Self-guided tours of the trail can be done online or by visiting the Abiel Smith School for maps and site brochures.

*The historic homes on the trail are private residences and are not open to the public. The Abiel Smith School and the African Meeting House are part of the Museum of African American History, which is open to the public.

Map of the Black Heritage Trail®

Black Heritage Trail Walking Tour Operators


Beacon Hill: Small Group Tour of Civil War Boston Jul 27

Explore hidden history on Beacon Hill's Black Heritage Trail, learning stories from America's "Second Revolution" prior to the U.S. Civil War. Boston's role in the fight to end legalized slavery is linked by the Black Heritage Trail in historic Beacon Hill. This pedestrian path…

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