I first read H.D. Thoreau's Walden when I was about 15 and then reread it for a literature class in college. But until earlier this month, I had never visited the site of Thoreau's memoir. We had spent the weekend at a "retreat" in the beautiful hills of central Massachusetts, and our flight back to Milwaukee was scheduled for late on that Sunday evening, so we took the time to visit Walden Pond for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon. It was a beautiful fall afternoon and the place was lovely.
The National Park Service has, I believe, done a great job of maintaining the pond in as natural a condition as practicable, given the amount of tourist traffic it must receive. The pond is about 60 acres in surface area and is largely surrounded by deciduous woods. Surprisingly, the shores of the pond are sandy and one can circle the pond entirely on the shore. It is approximately 1.7 miles around the pond.
Alternatively, there are well-manicured paths through the surrounding woods that also circle the pond.
The woods were in great color, as the following photos indicate.
The site of Thoreau's cabin has been located, perhaps 200 yards from the shore, and is marked by stone posts.
The footprint for the cabin appears very small. My guess is that it was about 10x15 feet. The site also included this slightly damaged sign, containing a quote from Walden.
Following is another photo I took from the path circling the pond looking out toward the water. I thought it worked fairly well.
Not perfect, though. I wanted to overexpose the water to create a blank, non distracting background, without overexposing the foliage. But the small, reddish-leaved tree remains a little washed out.
Finally, on the way back to the car, I caught this sign.