Noteworthy Sites in Walden Woods

Walden Pond and the surrounding ecosystem inspired Thoreau, and his writing led to the modern conservation movement and environmental stewardship ethic.

Explore some of the interesting natural features that Thoreau knew and loved, and learn what the Walden Woods Project has accomplished in protecting Walden Woods for future generations.

Andromeda Ponds

The Andromeda Ponds are a beautiful string of three glacial kettle ponds fed by ground water originating in Walden Pond. These ponds afford rich wildlife habitat surrounded by conservation land owned by the Concord Land Conservation Trust. <>Evidence of salamanders …

Bear Garden Hill

Map of Walden Woods Project’s Bear Garden Hill Located one half-mile west of Walden Pond, this forested tract that is part of the Fairhaven Hill area was one of Thoreau’s favorite places in Walden Woods. It was the first site protected …

Brister’s Hill

Brister’s Hill was named after Brister Freeman (d. 1822), a man who took his freedom from slavery after the American Revolution. Freeman was only the second person of African descent to own property in Concord, and was therefore a notable figure …

Brister’s Spring

Brister’s Spring is named after Brister Freeman, once a slave in Concord and the second person of African descent to own land in the town. Thoreau recalls Freeman in the chapter, Former Inhabitants in Walden, and would stop by Brister’s Spring …

Concord Landfill

One of the Walden Woods Project’s top priorities is to ensure that redevelopment of the landfill does not occur in the future.

Emerson’s Cliff

Emerson’s Cliff overlooks Walden Pond from the south, and was named by Thoreau. This peak was once considered by Ralph Waldo Emerson as a site for his own sylvan retreat.

Fairhaven Bay

Fairhaven Bay is situated within the Sudbury River channel. It was created by a huge block of glacial ice, as was Walden Pond.

Fairhaven Bay CR

Across the Sudbury River from Fairhaven Hill is a large track of land that has been preserved in a “forever wild” state through a Conservation Restriction held by the Walden Woods Project. There is no public access to this property.

Fairhaven Cliffs

Fairhaven Cliffs are a unique natural feature overlooking Fairhaven Bay and points West towards Mount Wachusett. The cliffs are on private property, but publicly accessible trails pass by the base of the cliffs and provide a sense of their presence.

Fairhaven Hill

Near Bear Garden Hill and the Boiling Spring, the beautiful Fairhaven Hill was one of Thoreau’s favorite destinations and is often referred to in his writings.

Fairyland Pond

A beautiful, impounded pond, today it is a favorite destination for local school groups on biology and history expeditions, as it was for many of Thoreau’s own outings with school children. Fairyland Pond is located on Concord Town Forest land.

Goose Pond

Goose Pond is a beautiful kettle pond that is a part of the Walden Pond State Reservation. The property around Goose Pond can be explored on a trail from the parking lot.

Forest scene on Mount Misery

Mount Misery

At the south-western part of Walden Woods, Mount Misery was a place Thoreau visited occasionally, where he paid much attention to the regeneration of forest trees. It is now protected by the Town of Lincoln.

Early morning sun filtering through a snowy forest scene

Pine Hill

Pine Hill is a large tract of land near the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods. Much of it is preserved by the Town of Lincoln and Lincoln Land Conservation Trust for passive recreation. It was one of Thoreau’s favorite huckleberry …

Sandy Pond

A present-day drinking water supply for the Town of Lincoln, Sandy Pond is also known as Flint’s Pond, and was the site of Thoreau’s first sojourn to the woods around 1837.

The Boiling Spring

The Boiling Spring at Bear Garden Hill was Concord’s coldest and most popular spring from colonial days and a literary symbol for the Transcendentalists. It was so named because it bubbled as it oozed from the earth. Thoreau considered the …

The Farm at Walden Woods

The Farm is a USDA certified organic vegetable farm. Sales proceeds from the farm stand, located on Route 2 east at Sudbury Road, are reinvested in the farm and also help support the conservation mission of the Walden Woods Project. …

Thoreau Institute main building and front lawn blanketed in new snow

The Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods

The Thoreau Institute is the headquarters of the Walden Woods Project. The main building, a Tudor mansion, was built by the founder of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Our facility is …

Thoreau’s Cabin Site

The location of Thoreau’s cabin was discovered by archaeologist Roland Robbins in 1945, nearly 100 years after Thoreau left Walden Pond. In addition to the discovery of the original hearth stone, a number of artifacts from Thoreau’s stay were found, …

Image of Walden Pond with moon rise

Walden Pond

Walden Pond is the center piece of Thoreau’s Walden Woods. It is owned and managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and sees nearly 600,000 visitors every year. An exceptionally deep and remarkably clear kettle lake, Walden still …