From 1845 to 1847, the author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau lived in a cabin by the lake. During his stay, he investigated the principles of transcendentalism by living according to this philosophy. He later wrote a book about his experiences.
The cabin, in which Thoreau lived, is preserved. Before the Great War, the cabin and the audio tour associated with it is sponsored by General Atomics International. This may show an aspect of pre-War society, as the humble message of Thoreau is immediately contradicted by consumerism and corporate involvement in everyday life.
The pond itself is small and highly irradiated (+10), with an island in the middle without obvious significance which smokes mysteriously. Up on the hill to the west, there is an automated tour box in front of a cabin that was home to Thoreau. Beyond this is a gift shop - a much larger building, which is booby-trapped with a few makeshift bombs and a clapping-cymbal monkey doll. Next to the master locked back door, held up by a knife, there is a "Note to Tweez". The note reads as follows:
Tweez, If you are reading this, then you're an idiot. this is the last time I tell you, we're locking this door. Use the entrance in the sewer pipe. Next time you forget, I'm locking your ass out permanently.”— Walter
The sewer pipe mentioned in the note is found outside the cabin on the edge of the lake. Inside the sewer entrance, past the long pipe, Tweez and Bear can be heard talking about Thoreau and transcendentalism. In this first room, there is a hunting rifle, duffle bag, and an issue of Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor. Walter and Whiplash can be found in the next room. The gift shop key found on Walter will unlock the safe in the room as well as the door to the gift shop. Additionally, Big Jim, a unique pipe wrench can be found next to a toolbox. There is a Vault-Tec lunchbox in the corner next to a bottlecap mine.
Walden Pond sits in an area of the map that isn't very dense with map markings. Unmarked but interesting sites abound nearby:
- To the east is an unmarked raider hut.
- To the east-southeast is an unmarked trader house with many cats and four little graves with presumably buried cats here (and cat meat for sale), and further on a wrecked train car containing a leveled suit of Power armor.
- To the south is a Stonehenge-like formation of cars. A behemoth spawns here once you reach around level 15. They are the sort of cars that can be made to explode.
- To the south, on the Middlesex Expressway, there is an unmarked Gunners base.
- A bit further south is an unmarked location which appears to be some sort of old power station, constructed of red beams with an attached garage. Look here to find a fusion core in a generator, but mind the stingwings.
- To the northwest, just below the dam, is a pond from which about seven Mirelurk eggs can be recovered, if the two mirelurks guarding them are defeated. They can be engaged from a distance from atop the dam, if desired. The dam itself supports random encounters.
- Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor issue #7 - In the first room from the sewer pipe entrance, on a barrel next to a glowing lantern.
- Big Jim, a unique pipe wrench - Inside the hideout, near the door to the gift shop, on a table by a red toolbox.
- Gift shop key - On Walter, opens safe and the gift shop basement.
- Note to Tweez - Next to the gift shop door entrance to the hideout, stuck in the wall with a knife.
- Overdue book - Under the cash registers in the gift shop.
- Vault-Tec lunchbox - On a box near where Big Jim is found.
- Raider Troubles - Troublesome raiders might take refuge at this location between two attacks on the Commonwealth settlers.
Walden Pond only appears in Fallout 4. The park, in which the pond is located, Walden Reservation is mentioned on a street sign for the Midcounty Loop. This sign is south of the Middlesex Expressway.