West Feliciana Woods Beckon as Walden Once Did
By Anne Butler
Distraught? Distressed? Disturbed? Weary of worrisome world affairs?
Take a tip from Henry David Thoreau, born in the summer of 1817, who despaired of seeing his fellow men leading “lives of quiet desperation” and sought solitude in the woods by Walden Pond. There he “wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
Now Walden Pond is operated by Massachusetts as a state reservation, complete with solar-powered visitor center and half-a-million hikers, boaters, swimmers, sunbathers or skiiers annually. But there are closer areas beckoning those wishing to commune more quietly with Nature. Strolling through St. Francisville’s 19th-century landscapes and formal gardens or wandering unhurried along the little rivertown’s bricked streets beneath overhanging moss-draped live oaks can impart the feeling of being a million miles away from the urban hustle and bustle, and the surrounding area has plenty of unspoiled wilderness accessible to the world-weary public.