Walden Pond State Reservation is a wonder. In 1895, the ornithologist Kate Tryon said of Walden Pond, “It is a charming place, and it isn’t.” That remains a perfectly apt description of the park surrounding the pond where Thoreau let his mind graze widely. Walden Pond performs the neat trick of being very large and very small at once: small in that it takes less than an hour to walk around it at a leisurely pace, but large in the imagination, as the place where literary and environmental cultures met, had a genteel affair, married, and produced many loquacious offspring.–Yankee Magazine, May/June 2010Best Literary LandscapeHenry David Thoreau spent 26 months in a cabin on the banks of this glacial kettle-hole pond. His ruminations on his experience are often credited with inspiring the conservation movement. Visit a replica of his one-room shack or hike the trails of the 335 acres of protected open space. Better yet, go for a swim in Walden Pond.Yankee Magazine April 2012If you come early enough on a summer morning to Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts, you get a sense of where Henry David Thoreau lived, and what he lived for. Light slants through the towering pines on the southeastern shore, glittering on the dark-green surface of the pond, and the soft air carries the scent of lake water and the hint of the coming day’s heat.More than 700,000 visitors each year make the pilgrimage to Walden Pond State Reservation, most of them in summer. By 9 in the morning on a sunny weekend day there’s no space left in the parking lot, and within an hour there’s no space left on the beach.Yankee Magazine July 2008Visitors can swim and hike or just absorb the aura of transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, who lived here in a hand-hewn cabin.Yankee Magazine April 2006Visit a replica of the one-room house where Henry David Thoreau wrote the beginnings of Walden or walk along the Pond Path to see where his original home once stood. People from all around are drawn to this beautiful and peaceful spot where Henry David Thoreau began writing Walden. Visit a replica of his one-room cabin, walk the lakeside trail to see where the original 1845 cabin once stood, or picnic on the beach.Yankee Magazine April 2005An oasis of clear water, more than 100-feet deep, that’s never too crowded. Regulars come to read and walk, fish and paddle, as well as swim. A one-room cabin replicates the one Henry David Thoreau built in 1845 and lived in for more than two years. Call on summer weekends to make sure you can get in. Open year-round daily.Yankee Magazine April 2004People from around the globe are drawn to Walden Pond State Reservation this beautiful and peaceful spot. Visit a replica of the one-room 1845 cabin where Henry David Thoreau wrote the beginnings of Walden, walk the lakeside trail to see where his original cabin once stood, or picnic on the beach. Gift shop, hiking trails, fishing, and boat launch, too.Yankee Magazine May 2003
New England Traveler
Planning a New England day trip, weekend getaway, or longer adventure? Explore our curated New England travel directory, featuring picks from the editors of Yankee Magazine (the New England experts since 1935) for the best things to do in each state, plus where to shop, eat, and stay.