The Forest Is Calling: Forest Bathing Near Atlanta

Have you heard of “shinrin-yoko” – or forest bathing?


It’s the relaxing practice of spending time in nature, especially forests, to soak in the atmosphere through all your senses. It’s like giving your mind and body a refreshing nature spa treatment.

The Forest Is Calling: Forest Bathing Near Atlanta
Courtesy of JCTDA

Pinnacle Park in Sylva, NC (about 2.5 hours from Atlanta) is home to North Carolina’s only Certified  Nature  Forest Therapy Trail.

With 1,500 acres of pristine natural beauty, you can slow down and immerse yourself in the therapeutic relaxation practice while spending time in nature, focusing on sensory engagement.

Studies show that a focused session lasting fifteen minutes in nature lowers blood pressure, anxiety, stress and boosts the immune system. It’s simple to do yourself, but visitors can learn more by taking a tour led by Dr. Mark Ellison, a certified Nature and Forest Therapy guide. 

(Pro tip: Grab dinner at ILDA wen you are finished.)

What about Georgia?

There are a few Certified Guides in Georgia…. at the Chattahoochee Nature Center and in Rabun Gap – but not a fantastic Certified Trail.

The Farmhouse Inn in Madison boasts a trail, but according to the Madison website, it is closed.

Blue Heron Lake Nature Conservancy, just southwest of Warner Robbins, is also certified. While it’s a pretty lake, it is nothing compared to Pinnacle Park (and only about 45 minutes further.)

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The Forest Is Calling: Forest Bathing Near Atlanta