There's something to be said about the magic that exists between the pages of a novel. When read, those words jump to life and begin to exist in 3D in our mind's eye, and we have authors to thank for these grandiose visuals. Without the artistic voice of an author, there is no story that exists - and, throughout the centuries, we have had many great writers to thank for their talents.

New England was once home to some of America's first colonies and living among them were authors whose words are ingrained in American literature. Whether it's the gothic romances of Nathanial Hawthorne or the breathtaking imagery that Thoreau translated into words on paper, it's humbling to know that we can still walk in the footsteps of these authors.


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Monument Mountain, Great Barrington, MA

Monument Mountain is, of course, a beautiful hike all on its own. However, the trek to the mountain's summit is made even more enjoyable for those who know its most beloved story. The tale goes that Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Cullen Bryant (who wrote a poem of the same name), and Herman Melville took the hike up to the summit once a year, every year since they met. The story goes that Hawthorne and Melville actually met on the hike in 1850, according to Suitcase Full of Books.

Knowing that two beloved American authors met on such a trail is what makes this hike so worth it, along with the fact that, supposedly, they were acting quite in character. Allegedly, Melville took on a persona fueled by Moby Dick which was only in its beginning stages, Hawthorne was moody as all gothic fiction writers should be, and Bryant was, well... lacking patience and bonding with a bottle of champagne, for lack of a better description.

  • Summit Elevation: 1,642'
  • Distance: 3.8 miles
  • Start on Indian Monument Trail, follow Sqauw Peak Trail
  • Come down via Hickey Trail

Robert Frost Stone House, Wayside Trail, And Interpretive Trail, Shaftsbury & Ripton, VT

Robert Frost and the state of Vermont go hand-in-hand, and the history of this beloved poet is all around the state. Some of the best ways to memorialize the poet and his work, however, are by following the hiking trails that inspired his many works.

Shaftsbury, Vermont, is where Frost fans will be able to see the location in which he penned Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, one of his most notable works. The hiking trail around the Stone House, where Frost lived in 1920, is a great way to see the surrounding area.

Lake Paran Hike

  • Elevation: Flat
  • Distance: 3.1 miles
  • Walk to the edge of the property line to pick up the trailhead

The Robert Frost Interpretive Trail in Riperton is right across from the Homer Noble farm property, where Frost lived in a cabin while teaching at the Middlebury Bread Loaf school.

While the trail is much shorter than the others, it's a beautiful walk (especially during the fall) through flat fields and woodlands. Along the trail, fans will be delighted to see markers that feature Frost's poems at various stops along the trail, making the experience all the more intimate and personal.

Robert Frost Interpretive Trail

  • Elevation: Flat
  • Distance: 1.2 miles
  • Easily found by following the AllTrails map (free)

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Walden Pond, Concord, MA

Literary fans will likely have heard of Walden Pond, and even those who aren't avid readers likely know of this Massachusetts destination. It's well-loved among everyone who hikes this trail, as the pond itself is scenic and serene.

This pond has been walked by several authors, not just one, and it's a great place to stop and reflect while walking the footsteps of those who likely did the same before penning famed works of literature. While the trail itself is not long, hikers can opt to walk the granite-lined path to Henry David Thoreau's cabin. The father of Louisa May Alcott, Bronson Alcott, was also known to have walked this trail, along with many others who influenced classic literature as we know it today.

The great thing about Walden Pond is that the visitor's center also holds all the information hikers need before heading out to walk it, including literary presentations. This is also where hikers can get copies of maps and inquire about guided hikes, which are also a fun way to tour the grounds.

  • Elevation: Flat
  • Distance: 1.7 miles, not including the branch off to Thoreau's cabin
  • Easy to find via AllTrails and by following the signs
  • Thoreau's cabin is just off the main trail and is marked by granite pillars

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