Brister’s Spring


Brister’s Spring is one of two springs believed to be fed by Walden Pond. It feeds nearby Fairyland Pond in Concord’s Hapgood-Wright Town Forest. The spring lies along the Bay Circuit Trail and the town’s Emerson-Thoreau Amble.


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 regularly when walking between Walden and points in Concord.


Brister’s Spring is preserved by the Town of Concord as it exists on land in the Hapgood Wright Town Forest.


Brister’s Spring is available for viewing and the surrounding Brister’s Hill property contains hiking trails including the Emerson-Thoreau Amble and the Bay Circuit Trail.

Entrances/Parking Information:

Parking and access is through the Hapgood-Wright Town Forest, opposite the Concord Carlisle Regional High School.

Seasonal information

The trails near Brister’s Spring may be impassible in the winter due to ice and snow. During spring, summer, and fall, poison ivy may be present on or near the trails. Check for ticks year round with extra consideration in the spring and fall when ticks are most prevalent.

Nearby sites

Brister’s HillFairyland Pond


There are no fees associated with accessing Brister’s Spring.