Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is the process of spending leisurely time in nature to achieve scientifically demonstrated health benefits and to make a connection with the natural environment. These guided walks, led by Dr. Mark Ellison, facilitate sensory awareness, invite you to slow down, and open the door for nature to heal. The addition of a tranquil and picturesque waterfall in the peaceful forest setting will greatly enhance the healing experience. The experience includes a tea ceremony in the forest.

Cost: $35
Dates: April 23 and October 15
Time: Starts at 11:00 am and lasts about 3 hours
Limited to: 15 participants
Difficulty level: Easy
Location: A waterfall near Waynesville
Age limit: Not suitable for children under 15

This is a members-only benefit and all registrations will be checked. If you wish to bring someone with you, they will need to register separately, and they must also be a member. Since this event is limited to only 15 people, each person attending with a Family Membership must pay the registration fee.

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Cancellation Policy: Cancellations made up to 30 days in advance will receive a refund, less a $10 processing fee. Cancellations made within 30 days of the event will not be refunded. This event will be held rain or shine. However, in the event of heavy rain or other inclement weather, we will hold the event on Sunday, the following day.

Dr. Mark Ellison helps people experience the restorative power of nature to optimize their health and effectiveness. He earned his doctorate in adult education and human resource development from North Carolina State University. The research for his dissertation explored the restorative benefits of hiking in wilderness solitude and the relationship to job satisfaction. He founded as a doctoral student at NC State and it has evolved to become a primary resource for information on how nature impacts health and effectiveness. Mark started offering guided forest therapy walks in 2013 after meeting with and learning from Dr. Qing Li, who helped develop the practice in Japan. He has also created programs for organizations and groups including regional chambers of commerce, medical centers, businesses, and universities focused on the use of nature for improved health and effectiveness. Mark enjoys spending as much time as possible in nature by hiking, kayaking, cross-country skiing, and mountain biking. Click the image below to visit Mark’s site.