Bay Circuit Trail Section 10

Posted By on June 30, 2017

12.84 miles; Concord, Lincoln, and Wayland, MA

I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but in my defense, it was a) a VERY long hike, and 2) there was so much cool stuff!


I began this section where I left off last week, at the Minuteman National Monument Visitor’s Center in Concord. This statue by Daniel Chester French is such an iconic image—you see it everywhere in Massachusetts. He’s standing facing the Old North Bridge. Kind of gives you a little chill to walk through this park.


After leaving the park, there was a shortish stretch of road-walking through Concord, and that’s where I saw this lovely little stand of chicory growing at the edge of the grounds of the Old Manse, a Trustees of the Reservations site.

Uh… What?

After the Old Manse, you come to this rather confusing blaze. Good thing I carried the description of this section with me. There is a spur of the BCT that splits off here and goes north as far as Bedford. The trail I wanted was the one to the right.

Emerson-Thoreau Amble

A bit more road-walking brings you to the beginning of the Emerson-Thoreau Amble, a short little trail that goes from Emerson’s house in Concord to Thoreau’s cabin on Walden Pond. It wound around Mill Brook, and was muddy in spots, but quite passable.

Art Installation

The Amble was also the site of a series of art(?) installations, including this rather curious collection of jars with stuff in them hung from a tree. O…kay… I mean, I was an art major in college, but the “art” part of this still kind of eludes me.

Walden Pond Official Greeter

I saw this handsome guy first thing upon entering the Walden Pond reservation. No idea what kind of hawk he is. Anyone?

Site of Thoreau’s Cabin

The at this point BCT crosses busy Route 2 and enters the Walden Pond Recreation Area, and after passing a stone marker commemorating “Thoreau’s Bean Field,” you come to the original site of the naturalist and author’s cabin. I’ve read that there is a recreation of the original cabin at the parking lot/visitor’s center, but the BCT doesn’t go directly through there, and I didn’t really want to add more mileage than necessary to a 9-mile hike. How prescient of me…

Couldn’t Resist

There is a huge pile of stones nearby, many of them stacked into cairns. Someone even thoughtfully left a sharpie marker on the sign, so I found a suitable little stone, put my name and the date on it, and added it to a random stack.

Beautiful Blue Color

The pond itself had this gorgeous blue hue, almost a turquoise color. There were folks swimming in it, too. Oh, and there was a very visible State Police presence here as well. I’m told that this site has a history of drunken brawling. Seriously, Massachusetts people? At Walden Pond of all places? And speaking of, I have reached the ripe old age of “eligible for social security” and have never read Thoreau’s Walden Pond. I guess it’s time to rectify that.

Trail Re-Route

So all this stuff, and the hike at this point is only a little over 1/3 over, although I didn’t know that at the time. I had originally figured this to be approximately 9 miles, but I didn’t count on this re-route. There was no explanation given for it, so can’t blame beavers (I have my suspicions) and no mileage either. And that line about “following the BCT signs on the trees?” Ha, it is to laugh. I was off the route on my gps, and the signs were, in the main, nonexistent. I was actually reduced to navigating with only a paper map. Can you imagine? So if you look closely at the track on my gaia.gps page, you will see a rather extensive oopsie, where I headed off in what I imagined to be the correct direction, only to discover, after maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of a mile, was that I was mistaken. And there was another spot where I realized I hadn’t seen a blaze in a long time, so I backtracked to the last one I saw, which was 1/4 mile away. Sigh.

Bridge Over Railroad

I think, though I can’t be sure, that the re-route had to do with crossing the railroad tracks [unless beavers]. Anyway, there was yet another spur trail here that went off in the direction of Weston, but my car, and the route I had planned to hike, was in the direction of Wayland. Fortunately for me there was some pretty decent signage just before the bridge that made this clear. The BCT is an adventure, I’ll give it that.


At one point after I returned to the BCT as it was marked on my gps, I turned to enter the Mount Misery property, owned by  Lincoln Conservation Trust, and the breeze washed the most amazing smell of fresh strawberries over me. Confusingly this conservation property is commercially farmed. Those are the strawberries under that green netting. I saw tomatillos, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and beans, too.

Sentinel of the Woods

I believe I saw this gentleman on Wayland town property. Pretty cool, huh?

Crossing Trout Brook

Honestly, there appears to be no end to the amazing bridges and boardwalks on this trail. This one was almost overgrown with reeds and other wetlands plants, but it made for a lovely walk.

So as I said (whined about) earlier, this turned into a much longer hike than planned. How much longer, you ask? How about almost 4 miles longer. What was originally a 9-mile hike turned into almost 13 miles. Still, my favorite section of the BCT so far.

Learn more about the Minuteman National Monument at this website. Learn more about the Emerson-Thoreau Amble here. Read all about Walden Pond here. Information on the Lincoln Conservation Trust and Mount Misery here. You can read more about the Bay Circuit Trail here. As always, click on the image, above, for details about this section and to download the GPS track.

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