Walden Pond is an iconic pond in Concord, Massachusetts. It was created 10,000–12,000 years ago by retreating glaciers and is a well-known example of a kettle hole. The pond is preserved as part of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Walden Pond State Reservation. The reservation is a 335-acre state park and recreation site. The pond is well known because the writer Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) spent two years living in a cabin on the pond’s shore. The pond provided the inspiration for his famous 1854 work, Walden; or, Life in the Woods.
The reservation was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962 for its association with the writer Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), who spent two years living in a cabin on its shore providing the foundation for his famous 1854 work, Walden; or, Life in the Woods. The National Historic Restoration Act of 1966 guaranteed federal funding for the pond’s preservation.
Walden Pond State Reservation offers boating, hiking, picnics, and fishing in addition to being a great swimming spot throughout the summer. There is a recreation of Thoreau’s cabin for visitors to see. The reservation is open for day use all year but does not allow overnight camping. Parking is $8 per car or free with a $60 annual DCR parks membership.
Looking for another iconic spot nearby? Check out Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, also in Concord.
- Address: 915 Walden St
- Town: Concord
- State: Massachusetts
- GPS: Lat 42.44017 Lng -71.33345
- Parking notes: There is a large parking lot located behind the visitors center. The lot holds hundreds of cars. Parking is $8 per car or free with a $60 annual DCR parks membership. It is free for pedestrians and cyclists, however, access is limited during popular summer days (i.e., when the parking lot is full, the park is closed to everyone). When they re-open, one can only enter at specific hours during the day).
- Parking directions: HERE
- Location directions: HERE