August 9, 1854


Henry David Thoreau, author

Best known through Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Walden Pond and the surrounding Walden Woods was a favorite destination for walks by local Concord Transcendentalists Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Thoreau’s writings inspired respect for nature and even, some consider, the birth of the conservation movement. The popularity of Walden ensured the enduring status and renown of Walden Pond, a body of water that Thoreau described as a “lower heaven.” In 1922, the Emerson family, who still owned the land surrounding the pond, granted the area to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with the stipulation of “preserving the Walden of Emerson and Thoreau, its shores and nearby woodlands for the public who wish to enjoy the pond, the woods, and nature, including bathing, boating, fishing and picnicking.” Since then, Walden Pond State Reservation has expanded to 250 acres of land open for visitors to explore and enjoy daily.

Marker for the site of Thoreau's Cabin