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Emerson-Thoreau Amble Opening June 14

Take a stroll into Concord history as the Emerson-Thoreau Amble connects the town center to Walden Pond.

The following was provided on behalf of the Natural Resources Commission.

On Friday, June 14, at 3 p.m., join us for the official opening of the Emerson Thoreau Amble at Heywood Meadow on Lexington Road.

The Amble is a wonderful new trail that runs from Heywood Meadow through the Hapgood Wright Town Forest and ultimately to Walden Pond. The Amble is the result of years of work and cooperation between several groups including the town, the Emerson family, the Mill Brook Task Force, the Trails Committee, the Heywood Meadow Stewardship Committee, and many dedicated individuals.

The Amble Opening Ceremony promises to be a special event.

Richard Forman, world‑renowned founder of landscape ecology, Harvard rofessor, and author, and Jayne Gordon, former director of education for the Walden Woods Project, former director of the Thoreau Society, and current director of Education and Public Programs at the Massachusetts Historical Society, are the featured speakers. There will be refreshments, a ribbon cutting, a guided walk along the Amble, and even some mystery guests.

Following the ceremony, there will be an opportunity to walk the trail and visit the newly refurbished Concord Independent Battery Gun House. Also, the Concord Museum has offered Amble ceremony attendees free admission to the Museum to enjoy a special exhibition: “Early Spring: Henry Thoreau and Climate Change”.

The Amble provides a walking opportunity between Concord Center and Walden Pond. It also forms part of the Bay Circuit Trail (BCT); its path over the Emerson land reroutes the BCT from busy roads to a nature trail. The trail’s route includes a crossing over the Mill Brook behind the Emerson House and on the reconstructed bridge over a tributary of the Mill Brook. Both bridges were constructed by Jim Macone, the Conservation Crew, and inmates from the MCI facility, and funded by grants from the State Recreational Trails Program.  

From a 2008 letter of support written by Trails Committee member Harry Beyer:

“The completed Emerson-Thoreau Amble will be a beautiful trail of enormous historical interest. Ralph Waldo Emerson remarked on numerous occasions that he could walk from his home to Walden Pond without ever stepping off of his land. Franklin Sanborn told of walking from Emerson's home to Walden in 1855 with Ralph Waldo, his daughter Ellen, and son Eddy: ‘We visited Fairyland a beautiful little dell shut in by woods which the children so named.’ Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote that, when he and a friend stopped by Emerson’s ‘to obtain his guidance or directions,’ Mr. Emerson “accompanied us in his own illustrious person.” They “proceeded through wood-paths to Walden Pond, picking blackberries of enormous size along the way.” In a 1932 interview, Ms. Abbey Hosmer recalled one time when she, her father, and Mr. Emerson walked to the Pond ‘to visit Henry [Thoreau] there in his hut.’”

Handicapped parking is available at the Gun House on Heywood Meadow for the Opening Ceremony. All others should plan to park in Concord Center, at the Town Forest, at Alcott School, or at the County Courthouse. A shuttle will be available to transport people from Alcott School to the Meadow before and after the event.

Join the town June 14 to celebrate and amble on this new trail. For more information contact the Division of Natural Resources at 978-318-3285.

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