This kettle hole, formed by retreating glaciers over 10,000 years ago gained fame as a place of inspiration for Henry David Thoreau in the mid1800's. The cabin he lived in for two years when he wrote Walden, Life in the Woods, was owned by his mentor, Ralph Emmerson. Credited with inspiring the beginnings of the naturalist movement, the spot is now known as the birthplace of conservation. In summer, it's a popular swimming destination and in cooler weather, the trails around the pond are great for hiking and viewing the replica of Thoreau's one room cabin.
We went to Walden Pond on a hot summer day to see the site of Thoreau's cabin. The pond is a popular swimming spot, and we were lucky to get a parking space. We hiked the shady half-mile or so from the main beach to the cabin site, and then continued on all around the lake (a bit less than two miles, total), wishing the whole time that we'd brought our bathing suits. The water temperature was perfect; the water itself clear and inviting. If you decide to go, don't worry if the beach is crowded. Just continue along the path and find yourself a secluded little cove. There are plenty to choose from.