Walden Pond, located just outside Boston in Concord, MA is steeped in history and activity. It's most famous for being the home of Henry David Thoreau from July 1845 to September 1847. The beauty of the pond and its raw nature can be found in his book, numerous poems, and essays. And when you come for a visit the staff at the pond provides various talks to learn more about the history of Thoreau and his time at Walden Pond. You can even see and venture into a replica of his house.
But if existentialism isn't your thing, you can explore the pond's surroundings for yourself. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the pond offers plenty of other activities, including swimming, kayaking, and hiking or even trail running on its many miles of trails.
However, during the hot summer months, the favorite thing to do here is to swim and relax on Walden's beaches. When you walk across the street from the parking lots and down the short path, you will find the two main beaches. While fun, these spots are often over-filled with families, buoys, and a limited swim area.
However, if you feel like putting in a little extra effort and venturing out for a hike, you might just be lucky enough to come across one of the many “hidden" beaches of Walden Pond. While not technically "hidden" in the true sense of the word, these various little coves are far less crowded and much more intimate and private. There are several trails that lead to these secluded spots.
Take Pond’s Path or Sherwood trails, as both of these will take you to the pond's secret swimming hideouts. Both trails also provide picturesque views of the pond from all angles, along with the natural beauty of the woods. You will quickly notice how the crowds begin to lessen once you approach the first little cove. Off to the side of these paths you'll find collections of stones and roots that act as steps to the coves. The best part about them however, is the face that they almost seem untouched the farther away you get from the main beaches.
Although these swimming spots are not as wide as the two main beaches, what they lack in length they make up in tranquility and their breathtaking views. These spots offer the perfect place to enjoy a few rays from the sun as you watch the swimmers and kayakers go by. Or you can quietly sit down and enjoy a good book, away from the crazy crowds.
There are about four of these special spots scattered around the pond. After the first cove, sound dies down and the noises of nature take over making these prime areas for couples to float and talk, or a place for a group of friends to claim as their own. There is a quaint little bridge that leads to the second “hidden" beach. It'sa welcoming gateway waiting to transport you away from the chaos of the main beaches. It is here that the voices from across the way all but disappear, leaving you with a quiet oasis.
The next two coves are just the same. A narrow strip of beach, just big enough to comfortably sit and relax in solitude as you take in the beauty that encompasses you. However, as you round the fourth and final cove you can start to hear the garbled chatter of humanity once again. The spell is all but broken. The tranquility of the “hidden" beaches almost seems like a dreamlike and distant memory as you emerge from the woodland trails and back to reality.