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Health & Well-Being, Hiking/Walking

Join Forest Therapy Guide Robert Sarnoski (Mind Body Simple, LLC) for a series of forest therapy walks at Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center. Varying in length from 1.5 to 3 hours, each session provides an opportunity to clear your mind and truly BE in the forest.

Participants are limited in number to 12; registration for each session opens one month before its scheduled date with a click to its title.

National Renewal Day Forest Therapy Walk: May 4 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM

National Renewal Day is an annual observance that serves as a reminder for individuals to prioritize self-care and personal growth. It highlights the importance of taking time to rejuvenate, reflect and renew one’s physical and mental well-being. One practice that aligns perfectly with this concept is forest therapy. Also known as nature therapy or ecotherapy, it involves immersing oneself in natural environments to promote healing and stress reduction. Forest therapy has been scientifically proven to boost immune system function, reduce blood pressure, alleviate anxiety, and enhance cognitive abilities.

By connecting with nature through mindful activities like hiking or simply sitting among the trees, individuals can experience profound relaxation and a heightened sense of well-being. Coupled with mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, forest therapy provides a powerful tool for achieving tranquility amidst the hectic demands of modern life. On National Renewal Day, taking part in such practices reminds us to slow down, appreciate the beauty of our surroundings, and nurture our inner selves so we may continue growing both personally and professionally.

Global Wellness Day Forest Therapy Walk: June 8 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM

Global Wellness Day is an annual event celebrated worldwide to promote overall well-being and raise awareness about the importance of physical and mental health. One aspect gaining traction during this special day is forest therapy, a practice that involves immersing oneself in nature to enhance relaxation and restore balance. Forest therapy, also known as forest bathing or Shinrin-yoku, originated in Japan and has since gained popularity globally due to its proven benefits. Scientific studies have shown that spending time in forests helps reduce stress hormones, lower blood pressure, boost immune system function, and improve overall mood.

Besides forest therapy, mindfulness practices are also emphasized on Global Wellness Day. Mindfulness involves being fully present in the moment by paying attention to thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding environment without judgment. Engaging in mindfulness activities such as meditation or mindful walking can help manage stress levels, enhance focus and concentration, foster emotional well-being, and increase self-awareness. As professionals prioritize the pursuit of holistic wellness beyond their work lives alone, embracing activities like forest therapy and mindfulness can indeed yield transformative results by nurturing a healthier mind-body connection.

Summer Solstice Forest Therapy Walk: June 20 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Full-Length Session)

Forest therapy, also known as shinrin-yoku, is a healing practice that emphasizes spending time in nature to improve overall well-being. During the summer solstice, the longest and brightest day of the year, nature is in full bloom, providing an ideal backdrop for a mindful forest therapy experience.

The solstice offers an opportunity to connect with nature on a deeper level and embrace its transformative power. As light floods through the lush green canopies, one can engage all of their senses and cultivate gratitude for the abundance of life around them. By immersing oneself in this immersive experience, individuals can benefit from reduced stress levels, improved mood, increased creativity, and enhanced immune function.

Forest therapy during the summer solstice provides a beneficial respite from our fast-paced digital lives and allows us to reconnect with ourselves and the natural world in a profound way.

Autumnal Equinox Forest Therapy Walk: September 22 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Full-Length Session)

The autumnal equinox is a significant celestial event that occurs when the plane of the Earth’s equator passes through the center of the Sun, marking the beginning of fall in the northern hemisphere and spring in the southern hemisphere. Within this natural cycle, forest therapy and mindfulness practices can offer profound benefits for individuals seeking to connect with nature and nurture their mental wellbeing.

Forest therapy, also known as shinrin-yoku or forest bathing, involves immersing oneself in a forest environment to improve overall health. Scientific studies have shown that spending time in nature can reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, boost immune function, and enhance creativity. Moreover, when combined with mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing exercises and sensory awareness activities, forest therapy enables individuals to be fully present in the moment and cultivate a deeper connection with themselves and their surroundings.

This holistic approach supports personal growth by promoting self-awareness, reducing burnout risk, enhancing problem-solving skills through increased focus and clarity, while also fostering a heightened sense of empathy towards others.

Information Overload Day Forest Therapy Walk: October 20 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM

Information overload day is an important concept in today’s technologically advanced society. With the constant bombardment of information from various sources such as social media, news outlets, and emails, individuals are faced with an overwhelming amount of data to process. This phenomenon can negatively impact mental health, productivity, and overall well-being. To combat this issue, practices such as forest therapy and mindfulness have gained popularity.

Forest therapy involves immersing oneself in nature and utilizing its calming and therapeutic effects to reduce stress and promote relaxation. On the other hand, mindfulness emphasizes being fully present in the moment without judgment or distraction. Incorporating these practices into one’s daily routine can help individuals manage information overload by providing a much-needed break from technology and fostering a sense of tranquility amidst the chaos. By taking deliberate steps to prioritize mental well-being through reducing information overload through activities like forest therapy and mindfulness we can achieve greater clarity, focus, and productivity in our professional lives.

Green Friday Forest Therapy Walk: November 29th from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM

Green Friday is a term used to describe an alternative shopping experience that encourages people to spend time in nature instead of engaging in the consumerist frenzy typically associated with Black Friday. It promotes spending time in nature as a means of fostering wellbeing and reducing stress during the holiday season. Forest therapy, also known as Shinrin-yoku, originated in Japan and involves immersing oneself in nature and mindfully connecting with the surroundings.

Research has shown that spending time in natural environments can have numerous physical and psychological benefits, including decreased blood pressure, reduced stress hormone levels, improved focus, and increased feelings of relaxation and calm. Incorporating mindfulness techniques enhances this experience by directing one’s attention to the present moment and heightening awareness of sensations, thoughts, and emotions. By embracing Green Friday and practicing forest therapy with mindfulness, individuals can prioritize their mental health while still celebrating the holiday season.

Winter Solstice Forest Therapy Walk: December 21 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (Full Length Session)

Winter solstice, also known as the shortest day and longest night of the year, holds significant cultural and spiritual importance worldwide. It marks a turning point in the natural cycle, where the sun’s presence begins to slowly regain strength.

In recent years, individuals seeking reprieve from the hustle and bustle of modern life have turned to forest therapy and mindfulness practices during this time. Forest therapy involves immersing oneself in nature by mindfully experiencing its sights, sounds, and smells, which has been shown to reduce stress levels and promote overall well-being. Pairing this practice with mindfulness techniques further enhances one’s ability to be fully present in the moment- carefully observing their thoughts, sensations, and emotions that arise without judgment or attachment.

The Winter Solstice provides an ideal opportunity for participants to engage in these practices – embracing stillness, connecting with nature’s transformative energy, and rejuvenating their mind, body, and spirit for continued personal growth and productivity.


Mid Length Forest Therapy Session: These short (1.5 hour; cost $15) Forest Therapy sessions start with a short introductory talk and a mindfulness exercise to relax and clear the mind. We will slowly walk through the forest, taking notice of the sights, sounds, and smells around, stopping to connect with nature and let go of stress or negative thoughts. Through simple guided invitations we will engage the senses by feeling the texture of tree bark, listening to the rustling leaves above, or inhaling deeply to savor the natural scents. By truly immersing yourself in nature’s charm during these sessions, you can enhance your overall well-being and find solace amidst modern-day chaos.

Full Length Forest Therapy Session: These longer (3 hours; cost $25) format Forest Therapy walks help you embrace a mindful and intentional approach to immersing oneself in nature. We will walk further into the forest, finding quiet spots to sit and observe our surroundings. By taking time to connect with nature through guided invitations and shifting focus to each of your senses – be it the sound of birds chirping, the scent of earthy soil or the soft touch of moss beneath your fingertips, you can allow yourself to become attuned to the rhythm and energy of the forest and become an active participant rather than a passive observer. Please prepare yourself physically by wearing comfortable clothing suitable for the climate and sturdy footwear that can navigate uneven terrain.

Registration is required for all participants. Spaces are limited, so please be sure you sign up and pay to finalize your registration spot. We will not be able to take walk up participants.

This is a fundraiser for the Friends of Nolde Forest. 

**Due to the increasing popularity of our programming and the growing number of people on the waitlist for programs, we require a 24-hour cancellation notice for all programs. This will allow us time to reach out to other participants/families on the wait list and allow them to fill your spot. Individuals who repeatedly do not cancel before the program and who repeatedly do not show up to the program will be prohibited from signing up for future programs.**

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Friends of Nolde Forest: Forest Therapy Walks Series