Henry David Thoreau took the naturalist beliefs of transcendentalism out of the realm of theory and into practice when he left the comforts of the town and built himself a rustic cabin on the shores of the pond. His famous memoir of his time spent there, Walden; or, Life in the Woods (1854), was full of praise for nature and disapproval of the stresses of civilized life – sentiments that have found an eager audience ever since. The glacial pond is now a state park, surrounded by acres of forest preserved by the Walden Woods project, a nonprofit organization.
Walden Pond lies about 1.7 miles south of Monument Sq, along Walden St (MA 126) south of MA 2. There's a swimming beach and facilities on the southern side, and a footpath that circles the large pond (about a 1.5-mile stroll). The site of Thoreau's cabin is on the northeastern side, marked by a cairn and signs.
The park gets packed when the weather is warm; the number of visitors is restricted, so arrive early in summer.