Bear Garden Hill

map of Bear Garden Hill in Walden Woods
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 by the Walden Woods Project, purchased from a developer in 1990.

“My thoughts expand and flourish most on this barren hill, where in the twilight I see the moss spreading in rings and prevailing over the short, thin grass, carpeting the earth, adding a few inches of green to its circle annually while it dies within.”

Bear Garden Hill was a favorite place for moonlight walks and it is a locale featured in Thoreau’s “Moonlight” papers.


In the late 1980s, Bear Garden Hill was slated for a large commercial development. In response to this threat and the proposal on Brister’s Hill, the Walden Woods Project was founded, and successfully protected Bear Garden Hill.


The Walden Woods Project maintains Bear Garden Hill as public open space for passive recreation. A number of trails circle the property and connect to the Farm at Walden Woods, Town of Concord wellhead protection land, and other conservation land.

Management Challenges

Invasive plant infestations at Bear Garden Hill present a real management challenge that we are actively working to address. The abutting farm also has similar challenges.