Forest Bathing

Creek at Fort Worden Park
Upper Dungeness River Trail

Forest Bathing (“Shinrin Yoku”) is a delightful form of contemplative walking in a wooded area, gently connecting us to the natural world through actively engaging our senses.  Sound, sight, smell, taste and touch can heighten our awareness of the intricacy of the life all around us.  Intentionally paying attention-while walking slowly,and pausing often- can help us notice so much more than walking to ‘get somewhere’.

  The health benefits of forest bathing are numerous: Moving our muscles increases the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids, which helps decrease blood sugar and blood pressure. Our lymph system is primarily moved as muscles contract, and that helps rid us of waste products more quickly. Trees emit phytoncides, which are their way of fending off germs and insects…and, happily these aromatic oils stimulate our “natural killer cells”- which are lymphocytes able to bind to bacterial and virus-infected cells and tumor cells, and kill them!     NK cells are unique: they have the ability to recognize stressed cells in the absence of antibodies, which allows for a much faster immune reaction.

Explore the paths of Fort Worden State Park  and  Anderson Lake State Park with your guide Ellen, who will share a poem or two and a brief guided meditation along the way.


Until Further Notice, Forest Bathing is POSTPONED due to the Covid 19 Social-Distancing Advice

April 2020: Anderson Lake State Park: every Wednesday in April, from 2 PM -4 PM.  We meet up about 15 minutes beforehand (1:45 pm) at the gated entrance to the park as the park gate is closed, or if it is open, then near the boat ramp and restrooms. The “Anderson Trail” is a 1.32 mile loop, and the “Savage Memorial Trail” is .72 miles- making a 2 mile hike that can be comfortably walked in two hours. Please bring hiking sticks if you have them, and sturdy waterproof boots as there are some springtime boggy areas, thanks to a beaver dam. There is a handy map of the many trails around Anderson Lake which you can peruse online.                                                  Donations are appreciated- $5. Thanks!

Please leave your cell phones and furry companions behind. This is a time to be quiet,to sink into the natural silence of the woods with less of the usual distractions. Thank you in advance.

CLICK HERE to register…which helps alot if we need to contact you in case of illness or some other cancellation.

Mary Oliver’s Poem When I am Among The Trees