THE THOREAU TRAIL: A WALK TO WACHUSETT
In 1842 Henry David Thoreau travelled from Concord to the summit of Mount Wachusett in Princeton, a journey which he recorded in the essay, A Walk to Wachusett. Working with communities and partners throughout the region, the Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area is exploring the possibility of creating a permanent recreational trail as an interpretive walking experience in the spirit of Thoreau’s essay.
To initiate the project, a multi–day trek of a possible trail route was held from June 27th through July 2nd of 2017. Accompanied by the Massachusetts Walking Tour, the walk/hike began at the newly redesigned visitor’s center at Walden Pond and concluded at Mount Wachusett. More than 100 walkers/hikers joined community partners during the six-day event. Each evening, a concert by the Massachusetts Waling Tour and local performers, brought the spirit of Thoreau alive to those along the route as well as those living in communities through which it passed.
During the coming year, Freedom’s Way plans to explore next phases of the Thoreau Trail project. Working with staff and with assistance from the NPS RTCA program we plan to coordinate activities relating to the second phase of the project, including formalizing a FWNHA/ Thoreau Trail committee with state and community representatives and other interested groups and working with this group to complete the following scope of work.
Scope of Work:
- Review the event route and identify opportunities/land protection needs for creating a permanent route;
- Refine the trail vision, including management, interpretation, signage, land protection, and programming;
- Explore creative way marking and identify funding opportunities;
- Plan and organize a 2018 event
If you are interested in participating please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-772-3654.
THE THOREAU TRAIL & FREEDOM'S WAY NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA
In 2015 the FWNHA management plan was approved by the Secretary of the Interior. As part of that process three themes were identified. The first, A Mosaic of Subtle Beauty, refers to the natural landscape, which contains 25% conserved open space, an unusually high concentration for a region so close to a greater metropolitan area. The creation of the Thoreau Trail will strengthen the identity of the heritage area as a region and given Thoreau’s prominence in American culture, serve as a defining feature for residents and visitors alike.