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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.