This site, part of Minute Man National Historical Park, blends history with great natural beauty. About 0.7 miles from Concord Center, a short walk on an unpaved path from Monument Street (and a large parking lot) leads to this scenic and historically important spot. Sometimes called the Old North Bridge, it’s a reproduction of the wooden structure that spanned the narrow Concord River in 1775, a bucolic location surrounded by stone walls, pastures, and rolling countryside. After the skirmish at Lexington, a full battle took place at this bridge (see “Battle in Concord: A Shot Heard [‘]Round the World”). If you tune out the chatter of visitors you can almost imagine that firefight, which was commemorated in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem “Concord Hymn.” The first stanza of that poem is engraved on the base of the Minute Man statue near the bridge. Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the seated Abraham Lincoln at the president’s memorial in Washington, D.C., created this iconic image of a militia man with a musket in one hand and a plow handle in the other. A plaque on the other side of the bridge honors the British soldiers who died in the battle. 
 
Up a small hill from the bridge, a National Park Service visitor center has a diorama and video program illustrating the battle; rangers are on duty to answer questions. Visitors with mobility issues can park here instead of making the 10-minute walk from the Monument Street parking lot. 
 
Also at this site, next to the bridge, is The Old Manse, 269 Monument St. (tel. 978/369-3909), which figures in Concord’s rich literary history as well as its political history. Rev. William Emerson built this home in 1770 and watched the terrifying battle from its windows. His grandson Ralph Waldo Emerson later worked on the essay “Nature” in the study. Newlywed Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables) moved here in 1842 with Sophia Peabody. On the guided tour you’ll see poems that the newlyweds scratched on windows with her diamond ring. Tours are $10 for adults, $9 seniors and students, $5 kids 6 to 12, free for kids 5 and under, $25 families. The house is open for tours mid-April to October Tuesday to Sunday noon to 5pm, and November to mid-April Saturday to Sunday noon to 4pm.