New Hampshire

Thoreau, Emerson & Transcendentalism in Concord & on Walden Pond

Learn about Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and other New England authors, and see why charming Concord and tranquil Walden Pond inspired their works and philosophy.
Program No. 23451RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Your tranquil retreat on the shores of Swanzey Lake in New Hampshire is the perfect home base for a foray into transcendentalism and its central figures: Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Do a deep dive into the work of these two legendary writers as you learn about the pillars of this philosophical and social movement from local experts and living history presentations. Plus, explore the quintessential New England town of Concord to find how the area influenced the writings of Thoreau, Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Fuller and other New England writers — and the influence they had on Concord. Stroll around Walden Pond to understand why this beautiful setting inspired Thoreau and his transcendental philosophies.
Activity Level
Varies by date
Walking around Concord and historic sites. Optional outdoor activities during free time.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • On a field trip to historic Concord, Mass., visit Emerson’s home and take time to soak up the tranquility of nature that inspired Thoreau at Walden Pond.
  • Enjoy a presentation from a reenactor that will bring you face to face with Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • Take advantage of the hiking, golfing tennis and other outdoor activities at Pilgrim Pines, and take a drive around campus to learn about the six historic covered bridges nearby.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: The unique experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a single room to yourself for only $100 more (for many programs).
Featured Expert
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David Wichland
David Wichland, Jr. has been growing mushrooms since he returned to Keene, N.H. in 1999. Over the years, Dave has attended numerous courses from the world-renowned mushroom expert Paul Staments and other informational festivals such as the Telluride Mushroom Festival. Combined with hundreds of hours of personal research, trials and errors, David has come to teach his own educational workshops throughout New England. In addition to teaching, David recently constructed a new mushroom grow house for his small mushroom facility at Wichland Woods.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Brent Ranalli
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David Wichland
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Ryan Owens
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Suggested Reading List
View 4 books

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