~ Walden Pond State Reservation ~

Walden Pond was my only stop in Massachusetts this trip. I had had enough problems driving in the Boston area in a car, in 2001, and didn't want to compound those by driving there in Arvie.

Walden Pond is a 102 foot-deep glacial lake in Concord, Massachusetts. It is 61 acres in area and 1.7 miles around. A perfect example of a kettle hole, it was formed by retreating glaciers 10,000-12,000 years ago.

Walden Pond State Reservation is a busy place. When I arrived the parking area was near full and visitors had to wait for someone to leave to park. There is a limit of 1000 visitors to the park at any one time. The attendant took a look at Arvie and then proceeded to call a guide to lead me to an overflow parking area about a quarter of a mile from the main lot. As it turned out I had the whole lot to myself. It meant a longer walk, but I didn't have to wait in a line of traffic.

When Thoreau moved to Walden, the land was owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson, who allowed him to conduct his experiment of Life In the Woods there. In 1922, the Emerson, Forbes and Heywood families granted approximately 80 acres surrounding the pond to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with the stipulation of "preserving the Walden of Emerson and Thoreau, its shores and nearby woodlands for the public who wish to enjoy the pond, the woods and nature, including bathing, boating, fishing and picnicking." In 1965, the National Park Service designated Walden Pond as a Registered National Historic Landmark.

"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

The House

"I have this tight shingled and plastered house, ten feet wide and fifteen feet long, and eight feet posts, with a garret and a closet, a large window on each side, two trap doors, one door at the end, and a brick fireplace opposite." Henry David Thoreau, Walden, or, Life in the Woods

Outside f the house with a bronze of Thoreau

Inside the house
This small house is a replica of the one-room structure in which Thoreau lived from July 4, 1845, to September 6, 1847. The original building stood on a slope overlooking Walden Pond. The recreation of Thoreau's house was possible, because he described it in such detail in Walden, the book he later wrote about his two-year long experiment.
Thoreau built most of the house with his own hands. Total cost for the building materials and transportation was $28.12 1/2 cent. In those days the half-cent was still in circulation. Imagine what you could buy with it today. When he first moved in, it was summer and most of his time was occupied weeding the two and a half acre bean field he had planted in the spring. In the fall he plastered the walls, built the stone hearth and a chimney.
The house was simply furnished. All the furnishings, a bed, a three-legged table, three chairs, a slant-topped desk, tongs and andirons for the fireplace, and basic utensils for cooking were obtained during a one-day trip to Concord Village.
About the cook stove Thoreau wrote in Walden, "The stove not only took up room and scented the house, but it concealed the fire and I felt as if I had lost a companion. You can always see a face in the fire." And about his furniture, he wrote, "Furniture! Thank God, I can sit and I can stand without the air of a furniture warehouse, ... Indeed, the more you have of such things, the poorer you are..." He was a man after my own heart.

The Pond

The kayaks were present

The barbed wire fencing along the trail is to prevent erosion along the bank of the pond and also to protect fragile vegetation like these flowers

Wyman Meadow (left) is an important wetland area within the Walden Pond Reservation. Wetlands create a unique and vital ecosystem necessary for the survival of a variety of flora and fauna. Wyman Meadow is ideal for bird watching, nature study and wildlife photography. I didn't see any wildlife or birds while I was there. There were too many people around.

Off to the left in th left photo is the site of Thoreau's house. There were few trail markings and I walked straight past it. The right photo shows a tier of the trails from the tier above it. There was another tier below the one shown that ran along the pond shore. That was the trail I had originally followed until I came to Wyman Meadow.

You can walk away from Walden, but you can't leave Walden behind

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