The Thoreau Sauntering Society

Walks and talks that are guided by experts and dedicated to close observation and deep appreciation of the world.

Saunter with leading naturalists and learn directly from nature as you observe and reflect. Or, saunter alongside historians in the footsteps of Henry. Or, enjoy a “true sauntering of the eye” with lectures that take deep dives into topics of nature, society, and history.

Saunters are $25/person. Register for the saunters by clicking the corresponding button below. 

Fall 2023

“My vicinity affords many good walks”; A Saunter Exploring Thoreau Farm’s Biology & History

Sunday, October 29, 2023
$25 per person. Registration required.
Limited to 16 participants.

Although Henry Thoreau spent only the first 8 months if his life living in his grandmother’s farmhouse, he would return to Virginia Road time and again throughout his life to visit the scenes of his early childhood.

Join Biologist Amity Wilczek and Historian Richard Smith for a walk around the Thoreau Farm property as they explore the biological and historical importance of the Virginia Road landscape.  How has the area changed since the pre-Colonial era? What plants and animals did Thoreau see in the 19th Century and how have invasive plants and climate change altered the world that Thoreau knew?

Amity Wilczek is an evolutionary ecologist and educator who taught at Harvard and Brown before transitioning to Deep Springs College, where over 10 years she served as Herbert Reich Chair of Natural Sciences, Academic Dean, and Vice President. Her work on plant responses to changing environments has appeared in Science, PNAS, Ecology, American Naturalist, and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society among others. Nearly all of her research involves substantial collaboration with undergraduate and pre-PhD co-authors. Amity currently lives in Concord, Massachusetts and serves as a trail steward of the Emerson-Thoreau Amble for the town.

Richard Smith has lectured on and written about antebellum United States history and 19th-century American literature since 1995. He has worked in Concord as a public historian and Living History Interpreter since 1999 and has portrayed Henry Thoreau at Walden Pond and around the country. Richard has written six books for Applewood Books and is a regular contributor to Discover Concord Magazine.  


Check back for more saunters. 

Have an idea for a saunter destination, topic, or leader? Email your suggestions to




Sunday, May 21, 2023 – “My vicinity afford many good walks”; A Saunter Exploring Thoreau Farm’s Biology & History

Sunday, February 12, 2023 — Super Cup Sunday Mushroom Saunter 

Sunday, October 23, 2022 — A Mushroom Saunter with mycologist Dr. Lawrence Millman

Sunday, October  16, 2022 — Autumnal Tints Saunter with Peter Alden and Ken Turkington

Sunday, September 25, 2022 — Determined to Know Beans: A Biological & Historical Saunter of Thoreau’s Bean Field at Walden Pond.

Sunday, September 11, 2022 — A Saunter with Peter Alden at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge  





**Saunters proceed rain or shine and fees are non-refundable. Should your plans change, your saunter fees can be applied to a future saunter.