Forest Bathing at Mendocino Redwoods
Forest Bathing, known as ‘shinrin-yoku’ in Japanese, is the ancient art and practice of immersing oneself in the natural splendor and peacefulness of the forest. Bathing in beauty, you might say. So, leave your clothes on, take your doggie with you, and set out to find the perfect place to ease your stress in the serenity of the Redwood Forest.
Slow Down and Enjoy Forest Bathing
Vigorous hiking may be its own kind of reward, but Forest Bathing is different. Slow down and breathe in the cool fresh air. Really look at the mosses, the wildflowers, and the squirrels. Feel all your tensions melt away as you contemplate the dappled light coming through the canopy of giant trees nearly 300 feet above. Touch the rough bark, sip the cool water in the streams, and allow yourself to become one with nature.
Thimbleberry Trail – A former logging trail that has been restored into a great dog-friendly hiking trail. It runs along a small gurgling brook in a ravine and is always cool, even in hot summer months. Find your Zen beneath redwoods, Douglas firs and big-leaf maples. The entrance is on Poppy Drive, Willits, CA 95490
Brooktrails Par Walking Course – A nice transition from modernity to serenity, especially if you want to explore the woods with children. The beginning of the trail has a tire swing, slide, and merry-go-round. Further along, you’ll come to a redwood grove with a little wooden bridge. The entire path takes only 30 minutes of continuous walking and there are benches along the way where you can sit and absorb the ‘forest feeling.’ Enter Brooktrails from 24860 Birch Street in Willits, CA 95490.
Montgomery Woods – Hidden away in a remote, steep-sided valley is one of the most scenic redwood groves in existence. This is where you will find the place of perfect peace for your Forest Bathing- ‘shinrin-yoku’. Off the beaten track and unusually far from the ocean, Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve can be reached by taking twisty Orr Springs Road west from Ukiah. Enter at 15825 Orr Springs Road, Ukiah 95482.