Minute Man National Historical Park is a park service site commerating the 1775 battles of Concord and Lexington and also pays tribute to the authors who made Concord their home; Emerson, Hawthorne and Thoreau.
The main visitor center to the park is located just of interstate route 95 and has a multi-media presentation of Paul Revere’s ride and the battles of Lexington and Concord. This is a good place to get your National Park passport cancellation and get an overview of what the site has to offer.
The main attraction in my opinion is the Old North Bridge and the Minute Man statue. As children here in Massachusetts we all had to memorize the famous Emerson poem:
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee
The first stanza of the poem is inscribed in the base of the minute man statue. The view of the Concord River and the country side around it make for great photographs. There is sometimes park personnel dressed as minutemen around the bridge. A winding dirt road leads up to the North Bridge Visitor Center where you can get a second cancellation in your passport.
For a totally different experience go to the Battle Road Trail section of the park. This five mile trail goes from Meriam’s Corner in Concord to Lexington winding its way past historic locations and farm fields and wetlands. A great place for a stroll or bike ride.
For the litary side of the park stop at the Wayside; the home of Louisa May Alcott and Nathanial Harthorne at different times in the 19th century. Although not part of the park itself in Concord is Walden Pond where Henry Davis Thoreau spent a year in the woods documenting his experience in the seminal American novel Walden.
If you are in Massachusetts there are many other sites closely associated with this period of history. Nearby parks covering the American Revolution are; The Boston National Historic Park, The Boston African American National Historic Site,
The Adams National Historic Park, The Essex National Heritage Area, The Longfellow House Washington Headquarters National Historic Site , The John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and the Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail.