Forest Therapy Walks Salt Spring Island, Victoria & vancouver Island, BC
Forest & Nature Therapy walks with Kelly Kiss & Peter Hehl, ANFT Certified Forest Therapy Guides. Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) on Salt Spring Island, the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island, BC.
"Yes, trees are the foundation of forests, but a forest is much more than what you see...Underground there is this other world, a world of infinite biological pathways that connect trees and allow them to communicate and allow the forest to behave as though it's a single organism. It might remind you of a sort of intelligence." `Suzanne Simard, forest ecologist, University of British Columbia. Forest Bathing Retreat, Hannah Fries.
**Public group walks are currently on hold due to Covid restrictions. However, we can offer walks to private groups, couples and families with physical distancing. As Forest Therapy is practiced outdoors, it is a “Covid-safe” wellness activity, and helps to strengthen ones own immune system. Please contact us if interested.
To schedule a one-on-one, family, couple, or private group walk, please contact us. We currently offer scheduled Forest Therapy walks on Salt Spring Island, Victoria and North Saanich, on Vancouver Island. However, we are able to create a unique forest therapy walk anywhere in nature, and would be delighted to design a personal experience for private groups for retreats, couples or families. Private individual or couple walks are currently only available on Salt Spring Island.
Experience Forest bathing at Ruckle Provincial Park or Burgoyne Bay Provincial park on Salt Spring Island. Ruckle is one of the most beautiful parks in BC, overlooking the Southern Gulf Islands and Salish Sea. Located within the oldest working farm in BC, amongst a west coast Rainforest, it features magnificent old growth trees, beautiful ocean views, eagles, herons, seals and many other nature beings. Visit the many farm stands and artisans on your way to the park!
Burgoyne Bay Park is located on the west side of Salt Spring Island and is adjacent to Mount Maxwell Park and Mount Maxwell Ecological Reserve. It is abundant in hiking trails with beautiful old growth Cedars, Douglas Fir and Garry Oaks, rocky shorelines with magnificent ocean views, and open grasslands abundant in native Rosehip and Hawthorn trees.
We also occasionally offer group walks at Coles Bay park in North Saanich. This quiet, small park is located just outside of Victoria, between Brentwood Bay and Deep Cove in North Saanich. Walk a short distance through a canopy of native Douglas Fir, Cedar, Black Hawthorn, and Arbutus trees to Coles Bay, and enjoy beautiful views of the Saanich Inlet!
Self Investment for Private Walks Private group walks: $45 per person (3-9 participants); $35 per person (10-19 participants); $25 per person (20+) Private single or couple walk (1-2 persons): $120.
Walks are 2 to 3 three hours in duration depending on group size.
For those individuals who are interested in a walk but are in need of financial assistance please contact us.
What Happens on a Forest Bathing Walk?
Forest bathing walks are not a naturalist walk or a hike. There is no plant or animal identification, and no agenda. Walks move slowly over a gentle landscape and are usually 1 km or less in length. For this reason the practice of forest therapy is accessible to people of all fitness levels, ages and abilities. Walks are typically between two and three hours in length. As guides, we will offer you a series of invitations to open-up your senses and become deeply immersed in your surroundings. Invitations are a method that guides use to help participants find their connection with the natural world and the healing powers of the forest. Guides help participants to slow down, become more mindful and assist in creating a deeper connection with self, others, and nature beings. Your experience will always be personal to you, and invitations are just suggestions to help you interact with the forest in a unique way. All guided forest therapy walks are then concluded with the sharing of tea brewed from local plants, and healthy snacks. This final offering further strengthens our sense of community and connection.
Benefits of Regular Forest Therapy Walks:
Decreases stress and anxiety by lowering cortisol levels.
Boosts the immune system by increasing natural killer cells.
Heightens mood and enhances creativity.
Improves sleep and increases energy levels.
Helps you to feel a greater sense of peace and calm.
Deepens your connection with yourself, others and the natural world around you.
What Participants are Saying: "Find the time! It is worth the investment to understand how you can benefit from listening and smelling the forest!" Jan 2019 "Necessary for love and interconnection with Gaia. Thank you. Was held with great respect. Really glad to be here." Jan 2019 "An exploration and insight into, nature but also of myself. Gratitude." Jan 2019 "I think everyone would benefit to experience the calming effect of a therapy forest walk." Jan 2019
"As you walk through the forest, feel your own body react and respond. Invite the forest through your senses."
salt spring island
What participants Are Saying
"The experience was unbelievably rich and deep. I easily dropped deeply into presence and maintained that state throughout. So life affirming. The guide Kelly was so kind and steady and fully embodied the love and appreciation of nature and our connectedness." November 2018, Salt Spring, BC
"If you wish to know the divine, feel the wind on your face and the warm sun on your hand." Buddha