Walking the Post Road

New England Barn, Westbrook, CT.

“He who sits in the house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea.”

Henry David Thoreau, Walking

Distance Walked in the Entry: 8.94 miles

Total Distance Walked in Connecticut: 53.7 miles

Total Distance Walked for this Project (from Boston): 224.2 miles


1. Henry David Thoreau, Walden , in The Portable Thoreau , edited by Carl Bode (New York: Viking, 1947), 307. originally published 1854.

  1. 2.The straight line distance (as the crow flies) is 191 miles from the Old State House in Boston to Bowling Green at the southern end of Manhattan. This is the absolute minimum theoretical distance the trip could be barring some rent in the time-space continuum.  To be more specific about the lower road I measured the distance of the straightest path that follows the coast to calculate the shortest distance the lower post road could be if all obstacles were removed and the trip were as straight as possible following the approximate route of the Lower Boston Post Road. This distance is roughly 208 miles, 22 miles shorter than the route followed by I-95. Thus by my calculations, in about 130 years the route will reach the shortest possible distance.  Incidentally I have covered about 224 miles thus far on my peregrinations so I am not exactly taking the short cut.

  2. 3. Gilman C. Gates, Saybrook at the Mouth of the Connecticut River ( New Haven: Wilson H. Lee, 1935), 237-8.

  3. 4.I also used various maps I found in the Acton Public Library and the Clinton Library helpfully provided by the friendly librarians.