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Although worth a visit in any season, Boston shines in the early summer. From the harbor islands to the Commons to the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, there are plenty of spots to enjoy the season’s amazing weather. Visitors who are deeply inspired by nature, however, also have the option to venture slightly further afield and experience one of literature’s most iconic natural retreats.

Walden Pond is a lush, secluded oasis in the quiet wooded town of Concord, Massachusetts, made famous by Henry David Thoreau in the nineteenth century. Just a twenty-minute drive from the city, travelers can stop by the transcendentalist’s old stomping grounds on their way in or out of the city. It’s also an easy day trip with trains running regularly from Boston to Concord, and the pond sitting just about a mile from the station.

Why stop here? What’s the appeal? Firstly, any pond or lake surrounded by forest in a New England summer is undeniably romantic and soothing. The smell of the trees, clean air, and, if you’re game for a swim, the fresh water, are all invigorating.

If this isn’t a hard enough sell, try reading Walden or Life in the Woods by Thoreau. He spent two years living by the pond in an effort to disconnect from the toils of modern, urban life and to reconnect instead with nature. While at the pond, he wrote Walden, one of the most revered works in American literature and considered the beginning of the US conservation movement. Thanks to its literary roots, the pond is now a National Historic Landmark. In his Walden, Thoreau writes, “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” That eternal quest for inherent, natural truth is why Walden Pond just might be a worthy stop on your next Boston adventure.

image via flickr