Pinnacle Forest Therapy offers guided Shinrin-yoku walks in the beautiful forests of Pinnacle Park in Sylva, NC. Located in Jackson County, we are in the epicenter of wellness and adventure experiences in the Great Smoky Mountains region of western North Carolina.
Forest bathing, or shinrin yoku, is simple: by spending leisurely time in nature, we achieve scientifically-demonstrated health benefits and we connect with the natural environment. Guided walks facilitate sensory awareness, invite you to slow down, and open the door for nature to heal.
Walks are approximately 2.5 hours and are not strenuous. Your guide will offer several invitations for you to experience nature through your senses. The walk ends with a relaxing tea ceremony.
You will walk with certified guide Dr. Mark Ellison who helped introduce the practice of Shinrin-yoku to the United States in 2012 and has been featured in numerous publications, including O, The Oprah Magazine.
The cost for individual participants is $20 ($10 for Southwestern Community College and Western Carolina students with ID), of which 10% will be donated to support maintenance of the trails at the park. There is a minimum $50 fee for a walk if less than three people register. Walks will be limited to no more than 6 participants. The recommended social distancing guidelines of 6 feet will be observed.
All walks are on the lower trails at the park with only a slight change in elevation and are low intensity. Register online.
Please arrive at the parking lot for Pinnacle Park 15 minutes prior to the walk start time. You will receive an email confirmation about the walk once you have registered.
Walks are also offered at other times and locations by request.
Summer 2020 Schedule
-Friday, June 5 @ 4:30 pm
-Sunday, June 7 @ 9:00 am
-Friday, June 12 @ 4:30 pm
-Friday, June 19 @ 4:30 pm
-Saturday, June 27 @ 9:00 am
-Saturday, June 27 @ 4:30 pm
-Friday, July 3 @ 4:30 pm
-Saturday, July 4 @ 9:00 am
-Friday, July 10 @ 4:30 pm
-Saturday, July 11 @ 9:00 am
-Saturday, July 11 @ 4:30 pm
-Friday, July 17 @ 4:30 pm
-Saturday, July 18 @ 9:00 am
-Saturday, July 18 @ 4:30 pm
-Friday, July 31 @ 4:30 pm
-Saturday, August 1 @ 9:00 am
-Saturday, August 1 @ 4:30 pm
-Friday, August 7 @ 4:30 pm
-Saturday, August 8 @ 9:00 am
-Saturday, August 8 @ 4:30 pm
Pinnacle Park is located 10 minutes from downtown Sylva. You can enjoy good food, beverages and shopping before or after your walk!
Email me to learn more about going on a guided forest therapy walk. I look forward to hearing from you and walking in the forest with you soon!
Here is feedback from a few participants in my guided walks:
“Before meeting Mark, I was on a mission. A mission to better understand and experience the power of nature. Unaware at the time that the wilderness actually does have healing powers of sorts, I met Mark at a conference and was immediately drawn in to his stories. He took me out into nature in a memorable experience I will never forget. He has a gift of calmness, yet extremely knowledgeable of the wooded surroundings. It was a true gift to be able to experience the outdoors thru his eyes, and to end the day by a creek with hot tea in hand… nothing better.” Glenn, Nashville, TN
“A beautiful November morn spent with Mark in the magnificent woods Of Pinnacle Park in Sylva, N.C. With Mark’s guidance he fine tuned our senses encouraging us to a greater awareness and a more humble understanding that one may, through patience and an earnest desire, begin to enjoy the magic and majesty, both large and small, that abounds in the creation, THE FOREST. ENJOY!!!” Rich, Raleigh, NC
“Take a Deep Breath: You’re already feeling less stressed after your drive. Now take that one step further with a forest therapy walk with Dr. Mark Ellison in Pinnacle Park. Leave your preconceived notions of hiking behind and be prepared to slow down and forest-bathe. The Japanese call this form of therapy Shinrin-Yoku—essentially immersing yourself in the calming energy of the forest. Dr. Ellison guides participants through a series of mindfulness exercises that are guaranteed to leave you feeling more rested than when you arrived.”
Birmingham Home & Garden Magazine
Recent articles about Pinnacle Forest Therapy guided walks: