Magazine

The sunrise swimmers of Walden Pond

Triathletes and leisure bathers alike find beauty and reflection.

Photo essay of Walden Pond swimmers in early morning.
Porter Gifford
Photo essay of Walden Pond swimmers in early morning.

Photographs by Porter Gifford

Thoreau called the awakening hour “the most memorable season of the day.” The swimmers in these photographs, taken at Walden Pond in early mornings from July to September last summer, might agree. Some arriving before dawn, triathletes and leisure bathers alike greet the day with a quiet, quick dip, point-to-point swim, or circumnavigation of Concord’s most famous body of water.