I’ve lived near Lexington most of my life, and have been to Lexington more times than I can count. As you can tell from the title of this post, it’s a great place to hike. But they also have great places to just plain enjoy yourself, with family, with friends, and with lots of choices! Check out live music (when that’s available again). Or get out into nature with kayaking, putting in in Concord near Lexington Road and Liberty Hill right up to the Old North Bridge and beyond. There are many shops to visit, Crafty Yankee is a favorite of mine, probably because my old chorus used to go there each year around the holidays to sing outside. They have all kinds of great gifts, jewelry and hand crafts. And I would be remiss if I left out all the great little restaurants. Unfortunately, Lexx, one of my favorites is gone, but I hear Clay Oven, which has opened in it’s place is also great.
Surprise! Sometimes a place grows on you.
I’ve never really thought of Lexington as a “hiking destination.” To me, it was convenient, fun, and once in your life, you HAVE to witness the Patriot’s Day re-enactment. We did, and recommend it to friends whenever it comes up. Our visit was 10 years ago, but trust me, it hasn’t changed. After all, it’s a re-enactment. We got up at like 4 am on that April morning to drive in the dark and watch. Just be aware, you have two choices to see it up close and personal. You either have to sleep outdoors on the common the night before or as we did, get up before the crack of dawn. Otherwise, you’ll be joining the hordes with ladders and binoculars trying to get close enough to actually see and hear what’s happening. And it’s a lot of standing around, in pretty cold weather. But it is so worth it! If you want more about that visit, check out the post I reposted with updated photos, from that visit so long ago.
Pandemics can teach you a lesson
But the lesson we learned during the pandemic is that Lexington’s Minuteman National Historical Park is a park for all seasons and all ages. When we went 10 years ago to witness the reenactment of that revolutionary day on April 19, 1775, we caught the action live in front of us, complete with the disappointment that “our side” lost the battle.
And then proceeded to travel through Concord and Lexington viewing some of our favorite authors’ homes, visiting the site where Paul Revere was captured, and even taking in the video at the visitor’s center, and taking a photo with one of the British Soldiers. I reposted that original post with updated photos back on June 21st of last year. Who would have guessed that a full 6 months later we’d still be under quarantine, and have returned to the park twice to hike, but each time in a different location. The Battle Road hike was also a great choice. This is why Minuteman National Historical Park is a big reason I’m selecting Lexington as a “best place to hike.”
Walking with the pigs
Yes, when we returned to the park again over Labor Day weekend, we chose to walk the Battle Road section of the park. It was a peaceful, field and forest kind of walk and we enjoyed it thoroughly. We also enjoyed the gorgeous scenery including a field where little piggies came running when we stopped to see them. The fields belong to a few farms, and there are plenty of signs around letting you know what happened where.
Hiking soon after the sun rises isn’t a bad idea!
We got there not too long after sunrise, so the light was crisp with long shadows when we started, but full sun and clear blue sky by the finish. As we recommended, this is a GREAT walk for kids, but watch out for the electric fence near the pigs. We did 2.5 miles on this hike and wished we’d had longer (and didn’t have houses closed due to the pandemic) so we could have stopped by Orchard House, Louisa May Alcott’s home, and The Wayside. If you’re a fan of Alcott’s or Hawthorne or Ralph Waldo Emerson, this walk is a must.
Sometimes convenience dictates our hikes
Last weekend we needed to find a nearby hike and it was an FPQ3 +1 hike because Sandy’s husband decided to join us. We chose the Fiske Hill Loop Trail off of Wood Street in Lexington. It can get crowded since it’s in a fairly populated area, but there are still plenty of open fields, old barns, tall hardwood forests, and plenty of well-marked and signed trails to wander and learn a bit more about the revolution.
We enjoyed the hike and added a few more beautiful winter photos (without snow) to our collection from Minuteman National Historical Park. Every time we go we’re amazed at how much open space just stretches out and is filled with markers, old buildings, and people being mindful of mask requirements. It makes hiking so much more pleasant during the difficult times we’re facing.
We did run into a few other hikers, not many bikes, and a few children thrilled with being out in the sun after some pretty nasty weather. We started our hike later in the morning, but were surprised not to see more people.
Sometimes, especially when you feel like you haven’t been out of the house for months (or at least weeks) it helps to get out into the wide open spaces.
During this pandemic we walked
I don’t know what people did to get some exercise and quell the crazies that threaten to break through every once in a while, but it’s obvious for us in 2020, and starting right off with this hike in 2021, walking has become our go to. No restaurants to eat in, no bars to hang out in, no malls to walk… but there is always nature, and history, and exploring places that are new. If you live near Lexington (or Concord, or Bedford) and you haven’t been to Minuteman yet, or it’s been a while, I’d recommend making a return visit or a visit for the first time. I’m sure we’ll be heading there again soon!
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