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If You're Going to Walden Pond

A Guide to Visiting Walden Pond State Reservation


Walden Pond in Concord, MA

Walden Pond may just be the most famous pond in America, thanks to Henry David Thoreau.

© 2003 Kim Knox Beckius
If You're Going to Walden Pond...

Location: Walden Pond State Reservation is located at 915 Walden Street/Route 126 in Concord, Massachusetts. The park entrance and parking areas are located across the street from the pond.

Directions: From the Massachusetts Turnpike/I-90, take exit 14 for Routes I-95 and 128 North. Take Exit 29B for Route 2 West. In about four miles, turn left to stay on Route 2. Turn left in one mile onto Walden Street/Route 126.

Entry Restriction: In order to preserve Walden Pond, visitation is limited to 1,000 people at any given time. My understanding is that this limit is only reached on hot summer weekends when visitors flock to the beach. You may want to call ahead, especially during the summer months, to check on parking availability.

Admission: $5 per car (as of 2013). Note: When I visited in 2003, the entry fee was being collected by an automated machine. The machine was out of change and was also very temperamental about accepting certain bills. The result was an enormous back-up of cars out onto Route 126 and a lot of frustrated visitors. There was no sign of anyone resembling a park employee the entire time I was at Walden Pond. Since the machine only spits out a receipt, not a windshield or rearview mirror tag to indicate payment, if you don't have exact change or if the machine is malfunctioning--just head on in to the parking area. Paying for entrance is a good and right thing to do, and this is a lovely spot that is worthy of your financial support of its preservation, but the state's economic cutbacks, which have apparently reduced park staff to non-existent, at least during non-peak times of the year, should not preclude your enjoyment of this scenic and historic site.

For More Information: Call 978-369-3254.

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