When Henry David Thoreau moved to Walden Pond he did so with a specific purpose.  In his words:

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 – Walden

There is a replica of the simple cabin he lived in for more than 2 years along with the minimal furnishings inside.  A bronze statue of Thoreau is outside near the cabin.

You can take a walk around the pond (1.6 miles) and near the far side from the start of the path at the beach you will find the site of his original cabin with stone pillars marking the outline of the foundation. It would have been very quiet except for the wind and wildlife nearby.


Today you cannot visit Walden Pond and expect the same experience of solitude and isolation experienced by Thoreau. The site is managed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is a designated for recreation including swimming, paddle-boarding, walking, jogging and fishing. It’s not a place for long periods of quiet reflection. If you want that you’ll need to find some other pond. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing; it’s just different than it used to be. It’s still a beautiful place and our visit this fall couldn’t have been on a more beautiful fall day.

Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts, is well cared for even with the large flow of visitors. If you are patient, you can probably find a quiet spot for a short time to reflect on how Thoreau reached out from his small cabin and touched people across time and around the world. It’s well worth the visit. Then when you return home look around and consider this thought he shared with us:

Such is beauty ever — neither here nor there, now nor then, neither in Rome nor in Athens, but wherever there is a soul to admire. If I seek her elsewhere because I do not find her at home, my search will prove a fruitless one. – Henry David Thoreau – Thoreau’s Journals

Hope you enjoy the pictures.

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