Walden Pond State Reservation
Other Ideas: Old State House Museum; Boston Haymarket; Castle Island, Fort Independence and Sullivan's Snack Shack; Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House - Home of the Alcotts; Old North Church - North End
Henry David Thoreau lived for two years at Walden Pond in the mid-nineteenth century and wrote of his experiences in the well-known book Walden.
Walden Pond is a National Historic Landmark and is considered the birthplace of the conservation movement.
The Reservation includes 400 acres surrounding the pond which has a small beach (most of which has been completely eroded during the flooding of spring 2010), a swimming area and canoeing.
There are also trails to walk on, wildlife to see and the charming replica of Henry David Thoreau's house to visit.
Swimming, hiking, fishing, boating for car-top boats and canoes (w/life vests), cross country skiing, marked trails. Guided tours upon request.
The area is popular for fishing, swimming, and walking. To protect the natural resources of the area and ensure that Walden Pond remains a pleasant place for people in the future, the number of visitors is limited to no more than 1,000 people at a time. Dogs, bicycles, floatation devices and grills are prohibited.
Find lots more ideas on fun things to do in Boston.
Looking for more great places to enjoy the outdoors in Boston? Check out our guide to outdoor fun for families in the Greater Boston area.
Open 7:00am - 8:00pm (5:00am for boats). No dogs or bikes. Parking lot fills quickly on hot days. Best to arrive early. No flotation devices are allowed in the pond.
Sunday - Saturday 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday - Saturday 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Parking is $5/car and $35 membership per year. It's free to pedestrians and bikers but access is limited during busy Summer days, (that is, park is closed to everyone when car park is full. One can only enter at certain times during day when they re-open).
Route 126, Concord, MA map
- Call first to check for parking availability; visitors are limited to 1000 at a time.
- Canoe & Kayak boat launch has a small parking area specifically for unloading boats.
- Visit our Listing on FamilyZip for photos, insider tips and more information.
Should be betterWe took the kids kayaking at Walden Pond today. I have to say that I was not all that impressed. Most of the beach is completely eroded. Hardly anywhere for people to sit. Instead people sort of hunker along the tree banks and over near the Kayak launch. The staff was less than pleasant all around. The pond itself was okay for kayaking - although it doesn't offer much of wildlife or interesting areas. You can paddle around the pond and you'll see people walking around the perimeter paths or out swimming from the tree banks. It's just not that nice overall. And kind of noisy. I wouldn't hurry back for any reason - that's for certain.
Walden Pond RatesIt's been a long time since Walden Pond was free. How unfortunate. The daily rate is $5.00 per car and $35.00 membership per calendar year. It's free to pedestrians and bikers but access is limited during busy Summer days, (that is, park is closed to everyone when car park is full. One can only enter at certain times during day when they re-open).
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