Bucket List Item: A Visit to Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond!


This weekend, my sister-in-law, Melissa, and her husband, Moises, invited us to Salem, MA to celebrate her birthday (along with their one-year wedding anniversary).  It was our first time going on an overnight trip without Little Lewie.  (Thankfully, Grammy and my Aunty Kiki spoiled him to death, so he didn't miss us one bit.)

Our trip to Salem included all the typical October activities--highlights were our lunch, dessert at Maria's Sweet Somethings, shopping at the Haunted Street Bizarre Bazaar, and going on a historical ghost tour at night.

Pickering Wharf, Salem, MA

Lunch at Victoria's Station

Hot Chocolate, ice-cream, and chocolate candies at Maria's Sweet Somethings
The next day, we decided to avoid the crowds in Salem again.  We were going to head straight home until a nagging voice in the back of my head suggested I see where Walden Pond was located in relation to Salem.  To my surprise, Henry David Thoreau's beloved birthplace (Concord, MA) and the site of his cabin at Walden Pond were only 25 minutes away from our hotel!

A quick decision was made to take the trip, and even though it was pouring in the morning, the ride from Woburn to Concord was absolutely beautiful.  When we arrived, the sky was overcast, but the rain stopped.  It put a delightfully mysterious spin on our visit.  We walked around Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (burial site to Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, and Nathaniel Hawthorne)  and then had a DELICIOUS lunch at the Main Street Market & Cafe where Lew had his very first Lobster Grilled Cheese and I had their signature Acai Sorbet Bowl (complete with layered granola, fresh fruit, honey drizzle, and coconut shavings).

After lunch and a little shopping, the time had come to visit Walden Pond.  If we had more time, we would have visited the homes of Emerson and Alcott (as well as the Concord Museum), but alas, I'll have to wait until we come again.  (Since the area is so beautiful and so close, I will DEFINITELY visit again.)

Walden Pond was bustling.  While half of its visitors were tourists, the other half were locals fishing, canoeing, hanging out on the beach, and even swimming.  (Yes, swimming in Oct!!)  It was a balmy 76 degrees outside with humidity at 90%.  The rain had stopped, and the sun even broke through the clouds a few times.  I had pictured the lake to be this hidden gem in the woods untouched by man, but obviously, I was a little out of touch with reality.

After parking, both the visitor center and the replica of Henry David Thoreau's house were 1/8 th of a mile away.  The visitor center was a beautiful, modern building run on solar power.  The replica of Thoreau's house was just that--a tiny, one-room cabin with a bed, writing desk, chair, and fireplace.  A shed was out back to store wood.  While the replica was not the actual cabin, it made you appreciate the simplicity of Thoreau's two year "experiment" in the woods.  He truly did not have much to do other than to live off the land, study nature, and think/write about the human condition.

Across the street from the visitor center was Walden Pond. Families, children, teenagers, and even the elderly were outside frolicking on the beach.  I found a 1.7 mile trail off to the side that circled the pond and led to the actual log cabin site.  The trail, too, attracted many hikers and tourists, but I took my time, trying to soak in the moment.  Occasionally, I would have a few minutes to myself to study the beauty of the area and to reflect.  My focus turned to old, large trees--trees that may have been there during Thoreau's time.  (If only they could talk.)  I know my experience at Walden wasn't his, but it was fun to try and place myself back in his time.

A "replica" of Thoreau's Cabin in the Woods at Walden

His very simple, one-room cabin.

So clean, you could see the bottom of the lake.

The Visitor Center
 Overall, I was impressed by Concord, MA.  What a beautiful, historical, and artistic town!  Even more, I enjoyed my visit to Walden.  Even though it was much busier than expected, I was happy to see the land hadn't been developed and taken over by real estate.  Besides an old beach house and a train track that runs by the lake, the woods were well protected and pristine.

Thoreau only lived to be 45 years-old.  He never married or had children.  Still, his legacy lives on...

"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."

"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves."

"You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment."


  1. What a cool place to visit. I remember learning about Thoreau in school and I'd like to visit there myself!

  2. I've been wanting to do this trip for a number of years now! Another blogger wrote about it a while back, and it's been on my radar since then. Hopefully one day. You all look like you enjoyed it.

  3. I'm so jealous! I've always wanted to visit there, especially in October!


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