Walden Pond

Best known through Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Walden Pond and the surrounding Walden Woods was a favorite destination for walks by local Concord Transcendentalists Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Thoreau’s writings inspired respect for nature and even, some consider, the birth of the conservation movement. Today, Walden Pond comprises the heart of the Walden Pond State Reservation and is designated a National Historic Landmark, ensuring that visitors can enjoy the area as Thoreau once did.
Sometimes described as a “philosopher-naturalist,” Thoreau had both broad and deep interests in nature and his readings spanned wide-ranging subjects, including Eastern philosophy, Greek mythology, poetry, agriculture, and science. He recorded his observations about nature—both descriptive and philosophical—in journal entries that later became a source of material for lectures, essays, and books. Like his mentor Emerson, Thoreau looked to nature for a meaningful connection between the physical, symbolic, and spiritual worlds. In order to fully realize this connection, Thoreau decided to engage in an experiment. He would attempt to live closer to nature by moving into the woods owned by his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson—a natural setting that he loved and home of Walden Pond. There, Thoreau built a cabin near Walden Pond and moved in on July 4, 1845. He described his reflections and observations of his time at the pond in vivid detail in Walden (excerpted above), a work now considered an American classic for its profound insights into living more simply and in deeper communication with nature.

Contact Information

Concord, MA

Reviews

Zachary Warmath   June 23, 2024
Be civilly disobedient and don't pay for non-MA license-plate parking ($30!!). Just kidding, of course ;) The mostly fenced-off, ~1.5mi walk around scenic Walden Pond made me wish I had vegetable-made bones like those of oxen.
Alfred Z.   June 10, 2024
This place is really inflatable and flying. A beautiful place on the edge of the famous Walden Pond, which has become popular and popular with celebrities...
Elinee L.   June 9, 2024
I would really recommend Walden Pond to people who would like to go on small walks. Also for people who like historical building. While they walk around...
Jim Tarwater   May 18, 2024
First visit to Walden Pond and it was such a good experience! The lake and hike were beautiful today! We talked to a lot of people from the area and they are so proud of their community. We did the lake perimeter walk which was about 1.7 miles. A nice, easy hike. We stopped up to the location of Henry David Thoreau’s home. If you’re in the area, take a look for sure. And talk to the locals!
Gail Wallace   May 9, 2024
Such a beautiful place to visit! Plan on spending at least half a day here.
Nooniecorn ɞ͡ɞ   January 17, 2024
Cannot say no to Walden Pond in winter!!Walking around the loop was peacefully beautiful.
Renee M   December 25, 2023
Nice walk around the pond and through the woods- $8 to park in the off season is high for the length of time you spend there
Stacie B.   November 9, 2023
As an avid reader of both Henry Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, I of course had to come here when on vacation in the area. It was amazing to be able to...
Curtis Cormier   November 3, 2023
This is a great place to visit. Easy to get in and out of. The trail around the pond is well maintained and the pond is really nice. Watch out for ticks in warmer months. They do have signs out to warn of that.
Steven Mosborg   October 9, 2023
Beautiful and peaceful place for hiking, swimming, picnicking and exploring. After leaving Boston to continue up the New England coast, my first stop was to hike around the celebrated Walden Pond in Concord, MA. My first visit. Writer, transcendentalist and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), spent two years living in a cabin on its shore and provided the foundation for his famous 1854 work, "Walden; or, Life in the Woods." Thoreau was inspired by former enslaved woman Zilpah White, who lived in a one-room house on the common land that bordered Walden Road and made a living spinning flax into linen fibers. White's ability to provide for herself at a time when few if any other Concord women lived alone was a singular accomplishment. Thoreau's account of his experience at the pond made it famous. The land at the north end of the pond was owned by Thoreau's friend and mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, who let Thoreau use it for his experiment. Thoreau's writing is credited with encouraging a respect for Nature. Today Walden Pond is protected as part of Walden Pond State Reservation, a 335-acre state park that was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962. Check it out! “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." ~ Henry David Thoreau
Yev Chornenkyy   September 12, 2023
Great area for swimming, hiking, picnic, and the visitor centre is amazing and super clean. There’s a lot of historic value here and is great to visit and learn more about Walden pond. The water is amazing and very clean. 10/10 I would definitely comeback here.
Michelle M.   September 10, 2023
I've been coming to Walden Pond since I was a baby (...yep) so this place is very nostalgic for me. It's still the same historical place it's always been,...
Nina Mak   September 2, 2023
Loved it! Beautiful and refreshing place to spend a nice summer day. Will definitely go back again.
Kristin Knowlton   August 16, 2023
Lovely place to walk year round. Amazingly clear and clean water to swim. Warning: there's a lot of rules at the beaches & the parking lot fills up/closes early on hot summer days
Robbin White   August 13, 2023
One of my fav places around Boston. In the summer you can swim and enjoy the water. In the fall it is more quiet and the trees around the pond were colorful. The summer time can be crowded so it is better to get there earlier to find a spot.
Eve S   August 8, 2023
Visiting Walden pond was really nice. It's about a 1.5 mile walk around the whole pond, and it's great for swimming. The visitors center is really nice as well.
Christine Rader   August 1, 2023
Beautiful area for swimming, hiking and a picnic. Water is clear and scenery is fantastic and awe-inspiring! Please remember to carry out your trash. Let’s keep this historic area clean and free of debris. Dogs are not allowed at the pond area. Parking cost minimal, and is limited so either come early in the morning or later in the day to avoid the morning rush.
Marlene P.   July 26, 2023
My family and I are from California, and every time we visit Concord in the summer, we have to make a stop at Walden Pond. It's so peaceful and rarely...
Max Yan   July 17, 2023
Good place to reflect. Many ticks during warm days so bring insect repellent.
Grace Fu   May 31, 2023
Very nice place to take a look and swim!
Obed Diaz   May 15, 2023
One of the best outdoor places to go in MA. Park is well maintained and the water is clean and clear. The wildlife is abundant, even though it’s not as flourishing as when I was a kid.
Susan Boucher   April 18, 2023
As a West Coast resident, Walden Pond has always been a bucket list item. It did not disappoint!
Gohar K.   April 10, 2023
Walden Pond is a beautiful place to visit and hike when the weather is nice. We were there in late November and it was freezing. My husband and I Walked the...
emptyset00   January 1, 2023
Just as beautiful now as it was back in 1770... But expensive (parking) and crowded. Crazy older people apparently like to swim there in the winter, but they seem friendly.
Craig H.   November 11, 2022
Craig Hockenberry: Walden Pond I had the chance to hike several miles at Walden Pond and visit the Site of Henry David Thoreau's Cabin and the replica. It...
J fam   November 5, 2022
Cons: I have never had any allergies till date, been to many forested areas, but there was something weird about Walden pond, after spending 2 hours here I had difficulty breathing as if my entire air passage was blocked. Pros: it's a beautiful pond Clean water , you can see fish swimming from above the surface You can swim in the pond, water temperature is just perfect in the summers Didn't see too many bugs/ mosquitoes Trail is well maintained though a bit narrow
N Adam   October 24, 2022
I was very impressed how beautiful it is in fall. First time visiting. The path around the lake 1.9 miles is well maintained. The view of the lake is amazing!
Sharanya Sarkar   October 23, 2022
Beautiful place, specially during Fall! The parking is quite expensive for non-MA residents though ($30 as opposed to $8 for MA residents) - so if you are carpooling, it makes sense to use a car with a MA number plate. This place also has a hiking trail along the perimeter of the waterbody, and that's pretty nice.
Brooke T.   September 12, 2022
Walden Pond is a nice place to visit to enjoy the outdoors when the weather is good. The walking path around the pond offers a pleasant stroll and nice...
Kazzy Starz   August 23, 2022
I posted these pictures in my other review as well. But I figured it would be good to share the view here. This is halfway around the pond.
Vincent L.   August 22, 2022
Like many other ponds in the region, Walden Pond was formed by leftover ice from glaciers in the last Ice Age. But it's most famous for its literary...
Charles “Shazam” Killin   August 18, 2022
Amazing place absolutely loved it many years ago great memories ❤
Phil Leotardo   August 2, 2022
On Walden Pond
Glitch   July 18, 2022
I'm bringing coke, Molly, ketamine & lsd.
Yesenia Acevedo   June 25, 2022
It’s amazing! We love it
Aly K.   May 15, 2022
Walking around Walden Pond was literally one of my favorite experinces in my life thus far. I read all the museum documents and watched the Walden Pond...
David Levin   May 6, 2022
Wonderful resource!! Good for everyone. And every season
Francis Bigness   April 27, 2022
Beautiful place
Byron Borrayo   April 16, 2022
I love this place
Dan Sazer   April 13, 2022
Iconic
Sara Ansari   March 26, 2022
Came here during the summer and was a great local beach to relax at. Went back yesterday for a small hike and was surprised at how many mosquitos there were! But don’t let those little guys get in your way of having fun, it’s a beautiful and scenic pond with paid parking across the street.
Amy Poutre   February 26, 2022
A local favorite. Could spend hours here
Stephen Glynn   January 23, 2022
Took path along pond, second half very icy.
Yuk L.   January 2, 2022
A great little walk around the pond with some history. We visited Thoreau's little house. The walk is easy for children. There are some great spots to...
Laura A.   December 30, 2021
Great walk (takes about 1 hour with kids) around the pond all year long. Easy for kids however not smooth for strollers the entire loop. No dogs allowed but...
Kendall Bell   December 9, 2021
Nice easy walk. It was pretty clean. Too bad dogs aren't allowed
Sarah Frankenfield   December 6, 2021
Beautiful lake to walk around with my dog
Nathaniel Hale (ThePheonix0627)   December 1, 2021
VERY HISTORIC! Place of Henry David Thoreau's cabin!
Jared Flake   November 5, 2021
Beautiful scenery and amazing swimming.
Ethan Byrne   November 2, 2021
Didn’t make any grand realizations about life’s meaning, but I saw a cool log
Keyra Fernandez   October 26, 2021
Swimming is heavenly
Steve Z.   October 25, 2021
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,...
John Nesbit   October 13, 2021
Thoreau has long been my favorite writer, so don't expect me to be objective about Walden Pond. It serves as food for the soul, allowing me to put aside regrets about seeing the pond become more open to swimmers over the years.
Qi Su   October 11, 2021
Life in the woods 101: Step 1: pick a pond. Step 2: live there.
Neeraj Singh   October 9, 2021
Walden pond reservation is renowned as the former home of Henry David Thoreau and the inspiration of his book, Walden. We went in October 2021 and took the Healthy Heart ❤️ trail which was 1.7 miles and will take you around the pond. The trail is narrow but very easy and can be taken any time. On the way, you can see Thoreau house site (Original). There is beach
Alok Dahal   October 3, 2021
Best place around boston neighborhood. Clean water, nice view, fresh air.
Jeannine M.   September 26, 2021
Wow! The Pond Walk is lovely especially on a pretty day. Many folks enjoying the water; swimming, SUP, kayaking and lots of beach dwellers. We walked the...
Frank B.   September 9, 2021
An absolute treasure NOT to be missed if your are in the area. It literally took about an hour to walk around the pond. Parking is so easy, costs about $30...
Cecilia Lemus   August 30, 2021
BEST LAKE AT MASSACHUSETTS
Akhil Vijay   August 15, 2021
Loved it. Water is clean. Great place to swim or kayak
fabio dos santos francisco   August 2, 2021
Very good
Adrienne N.   July 30, 2021
Beautiful pond and had so much space to chill by the water. Definitely worth taking a trip out here to a family-orientated and historic location. Can't wait...
Graham Gibbs   July 19, 2021
Beautifully done interactive and educational visitor’s center near the pond.
Maddie Tanzanite   July 3, 2021
It's a perfect pond! I've going to the pond yearly round and the nature still surprises me all the time. During the winter, it's literal Winter Wonderland, and it's so pretty, during fall, it's like it came from a painting, and during summer, the pond is an amazing place to swim in! During spring, there are a lot of plants. If there's a lot of people there's always other trails, and each are really beautiful in their own way :) Also I read other review and stuff like that, and they seemed to have a problems about parking, and once thing that helps me was visiting Walden Pond Twitter Site, and they usually tell you whether they are close or open.
Anna Justis   July 1, 2021
A great beach for swimming or a nice hike.
Ashley Fearon   June 30, 2021
So beautiful and clean water.
Rachel Diaz   June 29, 2021
Love it here.
Anibal Alvarado   June 28, 2021
Good
Gouri Rao   June 27, 2021
Nice pond.
William G.   June 17, 2021
Walden is the best open body of water for open water swimming in MA in my opinion. It is a great size where it feels big enough to go out and back and feel...
Betty Elrod   June 6, 2021
It’s the best place ever
Grant   April 3, 2021
Very beautiful place. I wish that soon enough, that they put trash cans there. There's nowhere to put your trash. Also, be aware that it is full of flying bugs there. I recommend you to wear long pants or use bug spray.
Mary W.   March 23, 2021
I have spent so much of my 29 years here, I grew up in Belmont and had the luxury of being 10 minutes away, even taking school trips when I was a youngin'. I have so many memories, but my favorite part of the pond? About 3/4 of the way, you come around a bend with a small beach, and the water is always BRIGHT turquoise. Its an incredible area. Can't believe its so close!!
Pamela Harrington   February 11, 2021
I love this place!!!! I used to come here every summer growing up!!!! Get a few swims in & bask in the sun for a few hours then get back to Framingham Mass
Yutong Si   January 31, 2021
Such a wonderful place!
Erin Anne   January 11, 2021
Nice easy hike with a beautiful view of the pond and interesting history.
Steve Neely   November 9, 2020
Great place for a loop around the pond . Birth place of the environmental movement. Very nice visitors center very peaceful
Mallory D.   October 20, 2020
There's nothing like a trip to Walden Pond to make you happy to be alive. Although some spots like Thoreau's cabin and the gift shop were closed, the...
Eduardo Mace   September 29, 2020
I like it, eventhough it was crowded. Just be aware that the Park does not accept pets and parking spaces are hard to get.
Lux Llama Productions   September 25, 2020
Amazing place to go to, water is really nice too to swim in
Jake Baker   September 18, 2020
Great place to explore. Water very clear and pleasant to swim in. Small beach and path around Walden are nice. During summer month weekends, plan on getting there early to claim parking spots. Often times parking lot closed by 9am due to lot capacity I've seen.
Karen Y.   August 28, 2020
Bring your swimsuits! A little rocky but cleaner than the ocean we did the day before. We were lucky to catch the gift shop open this particular day but...
Olga Talroze   August 26, 2020
Amazing water well organized clean . Not everyone wearing masks but you can find enough space to be distanced. However parking fills up sooper quickly you have to follow Twitter updates.
Chris M.   August 19, 2020
Saturday afternoon we stopped by the Walden Pond State Reservation. There was plenty of parking. Granted it was a cloudy day. I would like to see what it...
Jason Bice   August 15, 2020
This place is magical.
Harvey Willson   July 31, 2020
Grew up swimming here. Still like it even through all the changes.
M T   July 18, 2020
Great place but Parking filled up too quick before noon. Makes it impossible to enjoy the place.
Karima Z.   July 18, 2020
The reservation itself is breathtaking. The pond is so clear and warm; it is perfect to swim in. The trails are clean and great for hikes. However, people...
Krishna Basnet   July 2, 2020
Beautiful place nature god gift.big pond just cross of road very good place for swimming and fishing nice and clear water.big parking lot and full of security...
Brock Clark   June 26, 2020
Nice spot but been busy be safe 50 50 on mask protection when near water
Todd E.   June 26, 2020
So let's start with this, Walden Pond, the pond, the water, always gets 5 stars!! Minus one star because the MassDCR could be doing more to clean up the...
Terry B.   May 10, 2020
Years ago I had read that Walden Pond had been so overdeveloped that you could not get the sense of Thoreau's writings while visiting. In 1978, we made our...
Ajit Vyas   December 27, 2019
Lovely historic pond, made famous by the writings of Henry David Thoreau. See a recreation of the cabin he lived in and other historic markers of his time there. Easy to park, short trails nearby to walk around the pond.