An excellent ride for the avid cyclist, this loop takes riders to the beautiful Walden Pond State Reservation and back. Depending on how you choose to ride this loop, it can be anywhere from 30 to 40 miles long and should be considered a full-day affair if you decide to take any stops along the way. Hills, forests, waterways, farm towns, urban environments, and ponds- whatever your fancy, just keep on riding and you’ll find what you're looking for!
What Makes It Great
In addition to being a high-mileage ride, this loop gives cyclists a chance to visit a number of different towns and cities just outside the city of Boston. Upon arriving at the Walden Pond State Reservation, riders will have a choice to make- either continue loop and head back toward the Minuteman Bikeway or venture into the forest.
The reservation itself has over 335 acres for adventurers to explore in much the same way Henry David Thoreau did while he lived in the woods and penned his famous novel, "Walden." The reservation is open year round for day use, but has a capacity of 1,000 visitors, so if you are planning to take some time to walk around the park during a fair-weather weekend, be sure to call the park at (978) 369-3254. Reservation officials adhere to this rule strictly and will turn away visitors once capacity has been reached.
Who is Going to Love It
Experienced cyclists looking for a long distance ride through a variety of terrain will likely have a great time traveling this loop. The landscape is varied, changing from urban to suburban to farmland and even to a full-blown forest, should you choose to venture throughout the reservation.
For beginners, 40 miles may seem like a long ride, but it is far from tedious, because just as the surrounding environment alters, the terrain shifts regularly, from flat to steep and every angle in between.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The easiest way to get to the Walden Pond State Reservation is to take the Minuteman Bikeway to Concord Center. From there loop back into town via Rt. 126/ 117/ 20 to link back up with the Minuteman. There are various sections filled with hilly terrain, as well as a decent amount of traffic, so be sure to plan your trip accordingly and wear a helmet. Due to the length of the ride, it may also be wise to pack a headlamp, bike lamp, and high-visibility vest in case you return to the city later than expected. Better safe than sorry!
Parking will depend on where you plan on starting your ride, but if you choose to start at the reservation and just ride around for the day, you will be required to pay a daily parking fee of $5 for residents and $10 for non-residents.