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The writer, transcendentalist, and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau, lived on the shores of Walden Pond for two years, two months, and two days, starting on the Fourth of July in 1845.
During his stay, he kept a journal chronicling everything he witnessed and learned from nature. His experience at Walden Pond provided the material for his book, Walden; or, Life in the Woods, which is credited with helping to inspire awareness and respect for the natural environment.
His writings also prompted people to revere their own “place” as special, rather than being concerned only with far-off grandeur. Walden Pond was designated a National Historic Landmark because of Thoreau's legacy, and is considered the birthplace of the modern conservation movement.
Walden Pond State Reservation is owned and managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and includes 462 acres of protected open space. Over 600,000 visitors per year come from near and far to experience this beautiful and serene place that inspired Thoreau so long ago. In the summer, the Pond serves as a popular swimming destination. And in spring, fall and winter people come to fish, canoe, hike and cross country ski.
"I think that each town should have a park, or rather a primitive forest, of five hundred or a thousand acres, either in one body or several, where a stick should never be cut for fuel, nor for the navy, nor to make wagons, but stand and decay for higher uses —a common possession forever, for instruction and recreation. All Walden Wood might have been reserved, with Walden in the midst of It. . ."