Walden Pond State Reservation

Historic site

Details of Walden Pond State Reservation

Overview of Walden Pond State Reservation

Let a visit to Walden Pond bring you back in time to the mid-1800's. Experience the connection with nature that inspired Henry David Thoreau's Walden. Enjoy a day of swimming, walking around the famous pond or boating out on the water. Also be sure to visit the replica of Thoreau's single-room cabin.

Organized groups must call in advance to make a reservation. Park hours vary seasonally.

Hours for Walden Pond State Reservation

Sunday - Saturday:
5:00 am-7:30 pm

Visitor Center Hours

Monday - Sunday 10:00am - 4:00pm

Boat ramp

Opens automatically at 5:00am

Parking at Walden Pond State Reservation

Parking is located in the large lot off Rt. 126

Daily parking fees charged year-round

Daily parking passes available for purchase on https://massdcrparks.yodelpass.com/

MA resident  $8

Non-MA resident  $30

Resident and non resident status is determined by the vehicle license plate

Annual and senior passes NOT sold in park, use link below to purchase a pass:

Get a parking pass for Massachusetts state parks

Get a lifetime senior parking pass (MA residents)

Activities at Walden Pond State Reservation

Children swimming


Cool off from the summer heat in this 102-foot deep pond created by a melted glacier.
A person walking.

Hiking & walking

Take a peaceful stroll along the pond or on one of the trails through Walden Woods.

Facilities at Walden Pond State Reservation

  • Boat ramp
  • Picnic areas
  • Restrooms
  • Visitors center
  • 4 electric vehicle charging stations available when the park is open
    • stations are first come, first serve
    • visitors must pay a parking fee to use the parking lot

Accessibility at Walden Pond State Reservation

Restrictions at Walden Pond State Reservation

  • No dogs or pets 
  • No fires or grilling
  • No camping
  • No bikes on trails
  • No alcoholic beverages
  • No gasoline engines
  • No hunting
  • No blow-up water toys
  • No parking on the streets
  • No drones
  • No hammocks

More info for Walden Pond State Reservation

Walden Accessibility Improvements

Open Water Swimming

DCR Recreational Advisory: Open Water Swimming at Walden Pond

Walden OWS Draft Policies Update

Following extensive outreach and stakeholder engagement in 2015, the Department of Conservation and Recreation established rules and guidelines to manage open water swimming at Walden Pond. In early July 2021, DCR engaged in a brief pause on open water swimming to assess safety considerations, review and update its rules and guidelines.

Beginning July 9, 2021, DCR will again allow open water swimming with updated rules and guidelines that include designated hours for open water swimming, designated points of entry into the pond for open water swimming, and a requirement for open water swimmers to utilize a safety apparatus while swimming.


The parking lot will be closed once it reaches capacity. Call (978) 369-3254 before heading to the park to make sure lot is not full

Help Us Improve Mass.gov with your feedback