The town of Concord, located 20 miles west of Boston is an important historic spot and popular visitor destination — known for its American Revolutionary War sites, Emerson’s Old Manse, Alcott’s Orchard House, and more. There are some wonderful opportunities for scenic runs while enjoying this history — plus some terrific additional trails.
Battle Road Trail. 4.6 miles one-way, 290 foot gain. This is the iconic run in Concord. This 5 mile crushed stone trail connects historic sites from Meriam’s Corner in Concord to Fiske Hill in Lexington. The main theme of the trail is the Battle of April 19, 1775 that launched the American Revolution. 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. This park map shows the major sites along the way. Note: Not Maintained in Winter.
Old North Bridge and Historic Concord Center. 5.1 miles, 241 foot gain. This is a fantastic 5-mile run combining the Old North Bridge, site of the ‘Shot Heard Round the World’, and the historic sites of Concord’s famous authors. Start at the rotary in Concord Center, and run east along Lexington Rd. for 0.7 miles to Wayside, passing Emerson’s home. At Wayside, take in Alcott House and two short, hilly loops off Lexington Rd. to Revolutionary Ridge and Author’s Ridge. Retrace your steps to Concord Center and turn RIGHT on Monument St. Run for 0.7 miles to the Old Manse, location of the Old North Bridge. Run the historic bridge and hill — it’s very scenic — to the North Bridge Visitor Center (there are some additional trails here), then LEFT on Liberty St., and LEFT on Lowell Rd., crossing the Concord River, returning to Concord Center. ROUTE MAP
- Note: Can be combined with Battle Road Trail. It’s 1.4 miles from Concord Center to Merriam’s Corner.
Reformatory Branch Trail & Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Loop is 5.2 miles, 158 foot gain. A scenic off-road run. The Reformatory Branch Trail is a wide, gravel-surfaced wooded path that starts 0.4 km from Concord Center off Monument St. and runs for 4.2 miles east to Bedford, where there are connections to the Minuteman Bikeway (paved multi-use trail that runs for 10 miles to Alewife MBTA Station. Another great option is to run a loop incorporating Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Run for 1.4 miles east on the Reformatory Branch Trail, and getting off the trail to run a 1.8 mile loop around the refuge on the Dike Trail, with scenic views out to the wetlands. Return by taking the Dike Trail along the Concord River and then Great Meadows Rd. (ignore the ‘private’ signs). ROUTE MAP: Loop Including NWR.