Forest bathing is a type of forest therapy, which is itself a form of natural therapy. Nature has mood boosting qualities, and forests are one of the best places to go to clear your mind.
In this article, you will learn about the benefits of forest bathing, as well as the forests that are considered the best places to go for nature lovers.
The Lost Art of Forest Bathing and Its Benefits
The Japanese invented the art of Shinrin-Yoku, known as forest bathing in English. This ancient natural practice involves mindfulness, meditation, and positive thoughts.
You don’t need to be an expert to enjoy the benefits of forest-based therapy. Simply surrounding yourself in the wilderness without the distractions of the modern world is enough to experience things like:
- Mood boosts
- Better immune health
- Lower anxiety
- Empathy and connection
- Increased happiness
By spending time in the forest, you can reconnect with nature and repair your relationships with the natural world and other human beings.
If that sounds rewarding to you, then read on to discover the best places to go to clear your mind.
The 5 Best Spots in the U.S. to Go Forest Bathing
These treasured natural areas are some of the most pleasant places to go to clear your mind and “bathe” in the natural energy of forests:
1. Wissahickon Valley Park, Pennsylvania
If you want to experience forest bathing near Philadelphia, look no further than Wissahickon Valley Park.
Away from the hustle and bustle of Philly, this Pennsylvania forest has pristine trails and lush wildlife to enjoy. From birds chirping, to green forest scenery, it’s easy to get lost in peaceful meditation.
2. Humboldt State Park, California
Off of Highway 101, Humboldt Park is one of California’s most treasured forests. The tall redwoods make you appreciate the awe of nature’s size and ancient secrets.
Called “The Avenue of Giants,” this attraction provides 100 miles of greenery flanked by 300-ft tall redwood trees. Find a specimen that suits your fancy, and meditate beside it.
Or bring some paper and sketch the natural beauty you see all around you. The marvel you’ll experience will heal the soul.
3. Sedona, Arizona
The desert may seem like an odd place for nature therapy, especially when thinking of forests. However, Sedona is a pleasant nature escape.
Mysticism abounds, and the red rocky terrain is populated with emerald green trees. You can take a dip in the creek while appreciating the diversity of forests that break the traditional mold.
4. Stowe, Vermont
With a name like “Green Mountain,” it’s no wonder this forest is perfect for taking in nature’s gifts. The New England destination provides wilderness all around, with shady streams and lush trees engulfing the hills.
Try going barefoot to take in the forest and ground yourself to nature. The fresh air serves for yoga, breathing exercises, and gratitude retreats. You can even go on guided tours if you want.
5. Olympic National Park, Washington
An amazing place to forest bathe is Olympic National Park. This Washington paradise boasts the only rainforest in the entire U.S. With soft grounds, ferns, and green mosses, you’ll get lost in the wonder of this misty escape.
Keep in mind, the forest gets a lot of rainfall. So be prepared to enjoy nature’s moisture as well as its brisk air. In the meantime, you’ll be greeted with beautiful flora that only a handful of people have had the pleasure of visiting.