Spend a day at Walden Pond in Concord


Whether you’re in search of solitude or just looking to go for a swim this summer, Walden Pond is the perfect peaceful destination. The park, made famous by Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden,” is a quick drive from Boston.

Hit me with the history.

The 400-acre reservation, which is a National Historic Landmark, was home to the transcendentalist writer from 1845 to 1847. He went to live in solitude and connect with nature in the woods owned by his friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

How to get there:

Walden Pond State Reservation is located at 915 Walden St., Concord (~20 miles from downtown). The park is open daily from 5 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Parking is available in a large lot off of Route 126 and costs $8 for Massachusetts residents. You can also purchase an annual pass for $60. The grounds fill up quickly, especially on the weekends. Pro tip: check if the park has closed to visitors on Twitter before heading out.

What to do:

The best way to get to know Walden? Setting off on a self-guided tour, starting at the Thoreau House replica and continuing past the original site of the home.

If you’d prefer some programming, check out this month’s events. Thoreau House Talks are held Wednesday-Friday from 1-3 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Or, take a page out of Thoreau’s book (literally) and enjoy some alone time with open water swimming and a solo stroll around the pond.

What else to know before you go:

  • Download the trail map to navigate the many reservation roads.
  • It’ll take you around 45-60 minutes to walk the distance around Walden Pond.
  • Dogs aren’t allowed on the reservation, so furry friends will need to stay behind.
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