“Opening to the Wisdom of the Forest”
A Self-Guided Walk in Nature.
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This walk is different from hiking or a naturalist walk. The pace is intentionally slow, the distance relatively short, the route easy to navigate. The goal is not to summit a mountain, rather to immerse in the wilderness that surrounds you. Neither is the walk intended to be a study in botany or zoology. The goal is to get out of our heads and connect with our hearts, our emotions and feel the energy of the Forest. Walking slowly in Nature, breathing deeply, being naturally curious and engaging your senses has a profound calming and restorative effect. There has been extensive scientific research showing that spending time outdoors, breathing in air rich in negative ions and phytoncides has significant health benefits such as:
Decreased levels of stress
Lower blood pressure
Increased numbers of NK (Natural Killer) cells that fight disease/illness and boost the immune system
The invitations outlined in the brochure are intended to slow you down as you walk in nature. To engage your senses, immerse yourself in the present moment and bathe in the embrace of the Forest. Feel free to experience all or just some of the invitations or create your own. Remember this is your walk, your time to relax and practice what nourishes your Soul. Bring a journal if writing enables you to gain clarity, express your feelings and create a sense of well-being.
Preparation & Things to Bring:
It’s best to read through this introduction and the brochure prior to going on your walk.
Thermos with hot water, cup and tea bag
Journal and pen or pencil
Cell phone for emergencies
Sunscreen and/or bug repellent
The duration of the walk if you partake in all of the invitations is approximately 2 hours. This allows for a very slow pace, time to wander, time to journal and explore your senses without rushing.
If 2 hours is not possible see links below for either the 1 hour or 30 minute Self-Guided Walk.
Customizing Your Walk:
The 2 hour walk is written with the intention of creating a soothing and relaxing experience that re-connects you with Nature and restores your natural rhythm. You may accept all of the invitations or you may choose those that have the most appeal. Experiment with each invitation; if it serves you keep practicing it, if not simply let it go. Feel free to add your personal touch to invitations as well and above all enjoy the experience.
Here are suggestions for two customized walks. The first is for a one hour walk, the second for a 30 minute walk.
Where to Walk:
The ideal trail is 1 to 2 miles in length and follows a path that is relatively easy to walk. Select a trail that is not overcrowded with people, is abundant with trees, plants and perhaps has a creek, waterfall, or some body of water.
There are a number of ways to practice safety while walking in the Forest. While this list is not all inclusive it contains many sound safety practices. Please consult with your local Forest or Park Service office if you have additional safety concerns or need additional knowledge regarding the trail you will be walking.
Link to SAFETY GUIDELINES
Leave No Trace:
Remember to respect our natural environment and practice Leave No Trace.
Click here for a refresher: https://www.nps.gov/articles/leave-no-trace-seven-principles.html