CONCORD (CBS) — Swimming at Walden Pond is being restricted to designated areas, frustrating many who enjoy the waters of the famous reservation. The new rules come amid a string of drownings in Massachusetts.
“Beginning on Friday, July 2, 2021 and continuing indefinitely, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will not allow any swimming at Walden Pond outside of designated areas,” DCR said in a statement. “All park visitors are asked to swim only in areas designated by ropes and buoys and cease open water swimming.”
Lifeguards are on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the pond.
Walden State Pond reservation turned off replies on Twitter- but dozens of open water swimmers expressed their frustrations anyway.
— Walden Pond State Reservation (@waldenpondstate) July 2, 2021
“This is a travesty,” one user Tweeted. “There’s a long tradition of open water swimming at Walden, being constrained to the (extremely small, often extremely crowded) guarded area eliminates one of the few non-ocean distance swimming options in the area.”
Others criticized the decision for being “reactionary” in the wake of recent drownings.
“Henry David Thoreau would be disgusted,” another person tweeted, referencing the “Walden” author and transcendentalist who famously said “That government is best which governs least.”
On Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker announced plans to file legislation enacting fines of up to $500 for anyone caught swimming in undesignated state waters.