With a little advance planning, you can make your visit to Walden Pond more enjoyable. The park closes one half hour before sunset. Once you are here stop by the Visitors Center (year round) where park staff can help plan your visit. 

Visitors are welcome to swim, picnic, hike, use canoes and rowboats, fish, cross-country ski and snowshoe. Please help control erosion of Walden’s shoreline by staying on the paths and using established access areas. The reservation is open year round. Certain services and hours of operation may vary with the season. All organized groups must call in advance to make a reservation. There are no trash barrels on the beach. Please carry out what you carry in.

To protect the natural resources of the area and ensure that Walden Pond remains a pleasant place for people in the future, the number of visitors is limited to no more than 1,000 people at a time. Dogs, bicycles, flotation devices and grills are prohibited. To avoid disappointment, visitors are encouraged to call the park in advance and check on parking availability.

There is a year round parking fee of $5.00 per day, per vehicle. Parking is only permitted in the large lot off Rte. 126. (The smaller lot is for bookstore and staff parking only). When the park reaches capacity it will close. In order to avoid disappointment, call 978-369-3254, particularly on hot summer days. Annual park passes are available.

Specialized Equipment available includes portable FM listening systems for park programs and a beach wheel chair for access to the beach and water. Parking for vehicles with an HP placard is available at the boat ramp.

  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
  • Fires, camping, off-road vehicles, motorcycles, novelty flotation devices and boats powered by internal combustion engines are prohibited.
  • The pond and surrounding paths are open to the public daily from 5 a.m. to approximately a half hour after sunset.
  • Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day; swimming across the pond is prohibited.
  • Erosion is a serious problem at Walden. Please help the restoration effort by staying on the paths and established sitting areas, and avoiding all slopes where vegetation is growing.

Places To Go

On April 19, 1775, the American Revolution began at Lexington and Concord with a clash of arms known to history as "the shot heard round the world." At Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord the opening battle of the Revolution is brought to life as visitors explore the battlefields and witness the American revolutionary spirit through the writings of the Concord authors.

The DeCordova Museum in nearby Lincoln offers the only permanent public sculpture park in New England. Close to 80 modern and contemporary works grace the 35-acre site. The Museum’s Sculpture Terrace serves as an open air gallery for exhibitions by nationally recognized sculptors. The Sculpture Park is open to the public every day of the year from dawn until dusk.

The farm and buildings at Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle comprise a classic eastern Massachusetts agricultural landscape. The arrangement of open fields, sturdy walls, diversified woodlands and historic structures are significant images of our agricultural past. An active dairy farm operates year-round and guided barn tours are available from May to October. Amidst the beautiful scenery lie 20 miles of trails for hiking, bicycling and horseback riding.

The Nashua River Rail Trail from Ayer to Dunstable on the New Hampshire border travels along a varied landscape, offers numerous scenic overlooks, opportunities to see wildlife and has several resting stops. The trail is particularly attractive during fall foliage season.