Immerse yourself in nature with a weekend getaway from the stress of everyday life. Join us to discover the health boosting benefits of moving slowly and mindfully through the forest. Open your senses and connect with the natural world through a series of small group guided moments designed to enhance your health, wellness, and happiness.
June 2-3 and August 4-5
Difficulty level: Easy
Learn about the Japanese roots of forest bathing over a micro local lunch. Then indulge in the health benefits of being surrounded by nature, while as you are guided through the forest bathing experience. After a sumptuous dinner, you’ll roast s’mores by the first circle, before doing yoga by moonlight.
The next morning you will eat a farm fresh breakfast, before a reflective solo walk through the woods. Finish your weekend retreat with a delicious brunch.
What is Forest Bathing?
A Forest Bathing walk provides the opportunity to experience the benefits of slowing down and enjoying the experience of being in nature. Forest Bathing is not about hiking to the top of a mountain or nature identification. We spend about 3 hours in the woods and typically travel less than 1 mile. It is an opportunity to engage our senses – listening, touching, smelling, tasting and seeing as we really slow ourselves down and allow ourselves to just ‘be’ in nature. The experience involves a series of guided ‘invitations’ to help us connect with nature, calm our busy minds, perhaps be playful and have some fun.
Why do this?
Forest Bathing is a translation of the Japanese word “Shinrin-Yoku”, and is the practice of ‘bathing’ ourselves in a forest or natural environment, for the widespread health benefits that brings. There is exciting research that shows forest bathing can improve mood, reduce anxiety, reduce blood pressure and cortisol (a ‘stress’ hormone), boost immune system function and dampen down our ‘fight or flight’ response to increase relaxation and a sense of peace and calm. In a world where people are increasingly disconnected from nature, a deliberate nature-based experience such as Forest Bathing can help us access the wellbeing benefits of nature.
Meet Your Retreat Guide:
Tracey Hall is an Environmental Educator for the Boothbay Region Land Trust and a Certified Forest Therapy Guide with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy. A graduate of East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania with a degree in Environmental Studies and Creative Writing, she worked as a Naturalist for state parks and outdoor schools for several years in Pennsylvania and California before coming to Maine in 2002 to serve as an Island Caretaker for the Nature Conservancy. An avid naturalist since childhood, she leads walks year-round with the goal of connecting people to the outdoors.
- Forest Bathing groups are small, so register early.
- The Unity College dining staff is masterful when it comes to accommodating dietary restrictions, but we need to know what those are in advance of your visit.
- Adjustments to Tour itineraries may be made due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
- Participants must be in good health and be able to participate in various activities not limited to hiking, paddling, and wilderness navigation.
- Once you register, an email will be sent with more details about times, directions, and what to pack.
- Cancellations can be made up to one month prior to the tour, but there is a non-refundable $100 If Unity College cancels for any reason, a refund will be made in full.
- Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
- Transportation can be provided for an additional $50 to and from the Bangor Airport, $75 for the Portland Airport, and $25 for the Augusta Airport.
- Unity College does not discriminate on the basis of gender, national origin, age, or disability. However, please be aware that due to the nature of some activities we cannot adequately accommodate those who are not physically capable of participating.