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May 26, 2010 10:03 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Heavy rains limit access to Walden Pond

Heavy spring flooding has forced authorities to cut summer access by nearly half at Walden Pond in Massachusetts, made famous by author Henry David Thoreau.

The rains raised water levels on the pond 4 feet above average, submerging the beach and parts of a path around the pond in Concord. The pond opens this weekend.

Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Rick Sullivan said only 169 cars will be allowed instead of the usual 300 to prevent overcrowding and protect plants.

Swimming will be permitted only in a designated area and workers have created a different path around the pond.

The pond is famous for Thoreau's 1854 work "Walden," a social critique he wrote after living in solitude around the pond for two years, two months and two days.

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