Rates for Walks:
January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2024
$45 per person up to 2-3 hour walk twelve or more participants
$50 per person up to 2-3 hour walk, seven to eleven
$60 per person up to 2-3 hour walk three - six participants
$85 per person up to 2-3 hour one-two participants.
Available daily based on availability. Must be reserved
a minimum of three days in advance. Evenings and
weekends preferred; weekday availability limited.
How Can I Schedule a
Forest Bathing Walk for myself and others?
Walks are often conducted in partnership with a host organization so click on the events listed above for the cost of a specific walk.
Interested in sponsoring a walk and wondering what’s involved?
Connect to Wilderness will work with you to identify an appropriate trail for the forest bathing walk and handle planning and guiding the walk, tea ceremony and snacks at the conclusion. Guide will also upon request provide mats and stools for participants for known number in advance of the walk. Information about medical or health issues, medications, general physical health or mobility issues relevant to taking a walk in the forest will be requested of all participants prior to the start of the walk. To get started contact Connect to Wilderness.
What's Included: A guided Forest Therapy Walk includes orientation, invitations to activities during a gentle walk, sharing, and a special tea ceremony at the conclusion. Guide will make available mats and stools for participants for known number in advance of the walk. Participants are encouraged to bring their own.
Location: Walks can be scheduled at Sebago Lake Land Reserve in Standish, Clifford Park in Biddeford, Two Lights or Crescent Beach State Parks in Cape Elizabeth, Gilsland Farm Audubon Center in Falmouth or Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal (near Freeport). Other locations are possible provided permission to lead a walk on the property is granted by the land owner. This is often possible on state and town parks and lands. Properties that are privately held or owned by nonprofit organizations are also possible on a case by case basis.
Length: Forest Therapy Guided Walks generally last from 1.5-3 hours. Longer is better because it takes time to slow down and sync up with the natural world. Location, weather, participant mobility, and other factors can also influence the length of the walk. The length of a specific walk will be included with the information about the event.
If you do not see what you are looking for, please contact Connect to Wilderness about working together to develop a walk, workshop or activity that meets your needs.
Maybe it's having a forest bathing walk or another activity as part of an workshop, meeting, or orientation, Perhaps you are thinking of exploring an addition to activities offered at your resort or wellness support services provided by your company or would like to contract for a series of walks to be hosted by your organization. Possibly a presentation or a demonstration are desired as a starting point.
In addition Connect to Wilderness can design nature oriented interpretive walks, activities and games that can be combined to provide a daylong series of outdoor experiences. We would be happy to engage with you and discuss ideas. We look forward to working with you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can People with Disabilities Participate on a Walk?
Yes, it is possible to adapt the experience to the participant. Walks can be modified so that anyone can participate. For example some 'walks' have been held in nursing homes where people are not mobile or able to go outside. There the guide modified the experience to bring the forest inside. Please note; it is important for the guide to be aware of a disability prior to the walk to modify the experience to be accessible. This may require changing the location of the walk; the types of activities and invitations that are crafted and other actions.
What is Forest Therapy?
Forest Therapy is a research-based framework for supporting healing and wellness through immersion in forests and other natural environments. Forest Therapy is inspired by the Japanese practice of shinrin yoku, which translates to "taking in the forest atmosphere" or "forest bathing." Studies have demonstrated a wide array of health benefits, especially in the cardiovascular and immune systems, and for stabilizing and improving mood and cognition.
Shinrin-yoku was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. Researchers primarily in Japan and South Korea have established a robust body of scientific literature on the health benefits of spending time under the canopy of a living forest. Now their research is helping to establish shinrin-yoku and forest therapy throughout the world.
What happens on a Forest Therapy Guided Walk?
On a forest therapy guided walk. the guide encourages participants to activate all their senses to foster an immersive experience with the natural world. The walk includes an orientation, invitations to activities to enhance immersion with the forest and the senses that may include independent wandering and sitting interspersed with the opportunity to share. A special tea ceremony with snacks is held at the conclusion. The guide will make available mats and stools for participants if requested in advance of the walk. Participants are also encouraged to bring their own. Walks are held rain or shine.
What happens on a Forest Therapy Guided Walk for dog owners and their dogs? Note: Forest Therapy Walks with Dogs are currently nota listed activity, but it is a variation of a forest therapy walk that is available upon request.
A forest bathing/forest therapy guided walk with dogs and their owners is limited to eight participants and their canine companions because dogs can bring a lot of energy particularly at the beginning of a walk. Similar to a walk without dogs, the guide encourages participants to activate all their senses to foster an immersive experience with the natural world in partnership with their respective canine companion. The walk includes an orientation, invitations to activities to enhance immersion with the forest and the senses that may include independent wandering and sitting interspersed with the opportunity to share. A special tea ceremony with snacks is held at the conclusion. The guide will make available mats and stools for participants if requested in advance of the walk. Participants are also encouraged to bring their own. Walks are held rain or shine.
During the walk; dogs are always on a leash. A 20-foot leash is recommended to allow dogs to wander as well. Sometimes participants clip two leashes together to create a long leash. Proof of rabies vaccination in the form of a town license tag or documentation from a veterinarian is also required to participate. The rabies dog tag on a dog's collar is sufficient proof.
What is a Certified Forest Therapy Guide?
A certified forest therapy guide encourages participants on a walk to connect with the natural world. He or she is not a therapist as a result of completing the certification. The forest provides the 'therapy'. The Association of Nature and Forestry Guides and Program’s certified forest therapy guide training builds on the practices developed in Japan drawing on the latest medical research, new developments in the field of nature connection, and ancient traditions of mindfulness and wellness promotion. In this training guides learn skills that are applicable in any forest ecosystem or bioregion. They can be adapted to other natural settings besides forests, and are also effective in human-built environments such as city parks and botanic gardens. They can be readily integrated with health promotion, psychotherapy, social work, recreation, nature education, employee wellness programs, conservation efforts and many other specialties.
It is a six-month training that begins with a week-long immersion and education with experienced forest therapy instructors, which is followed by a field practicum consisting of a series of structured assignments completed over a series of six months. During the practicum trainees are supported by mentoring via phone or skype and by monthly group conference calls with other participants in their cohort. Completion of a detailed curriculum is required for certification as a Certified Forest Therapy Guide (CFTG).
What are the physical requirements of practicing or training in Forest Therapy?
Forest therapy does not engage in activities that require a great deal of physical exertion. Part of the appeal of Shinrin-Yoku-inspired forest therapy is that it is highly accessible to people with a wide range of fitness abilities and conditions. No physical exertion is encouraged or facilitated by the practice or during our trainings.
Where can I find out more about the health benefits of this forest therapy guided walks?
For more information about the health benefits visit the Association of Forest and Therapy Guides and Programs Science page.