Family Forest Bathing Walk Exploring Darkness and Light

Family Forest Bathing Walk Exploring Darkness and Light

February 5, 2023
This is a forest bathing walk where children and youth are encouraged to take the lead!

Youth and children are encouraged to take the lead during this family-friendly forest bathing experience.

We will have a slow meander in the woods, intended to allow for a deep and meaningful connection with the natural world. Through a series of gentle invitations, everyone is encouraged to slow down and experience and engage with the natural world through their senses. We will explore aspects of light and dark , shadows and light and we will engage with the more than-human world in away that deepens our connection with the trees and with each other.

Children and Youth ages 5-17 are welcome with an adult chaperone.

Forest Bathing is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which can be loosely translated to “taking in the medicine of the forest”. 

This practice was established in the 1980s in Japan as a direct response to declining health in the population.  The healing energies of the natural world have been known for centuries. Forest bathing is a simple yet powerful way for us to remember, and tap into these healing powers that are readily available to all of us.

The positive impact of spending time in nature has been studied worldwide for decades. Research shows that people who practice Forest Bathing experience relief from anxiety and depression, a deeper sense of mental relaxation, better sleep, and an increased feeling of gratitude and overall sense of well-being. Forest Bathing also lowers blood pressure and heart rate, elevates NK cancer-fighting cells in the body, and strengthens the immune system.

During this Forest Bathing walk, I will offer a set of carefully crafted invitations to encourage slowing down and experiencing the more-than-human world in a variety of possible new ways and through our senses. We will be covering less than a mile of distance and we will mostly be in silence. There will be brief periods of sharing and a tea ceremony towards the end with time for reflection and discussion.

You won’t need to bring much for our time together and you can keep your lunch, camera, and binoculars in your car.

Weather conditions can change quickly in the park and you want to be able to stay warm and dry during our times of stillness in the forest. You can carry a light pack with warm layers as well as a snack to enjoy towards the end of our time together. You can also bring a light stool or small mat to sit on the forest floor more comfortably.

Joey Heusler is a certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide with the Association for Nature and Forest Therapy guides and programs (ANFT). Joey’s passion is bringing people of all ages into a place of stillness where a connection with the natural world can be made from that deeper place.  She guides Forest Bathing walks in Marin County and beyond.

Photo Credit: Joey Heusler


-We will be meeting at the Bear Valley Visitor Center then experiencing the Woodpecker Trail

– Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to check in

– Refunds available for all classes 7 days in advance of the start date, after 7 days and before 2 days, participants can credit their class for a future date. All requests before 48 hours in advance will be declined. For COVID cancellation policy, see below.

– Please follow the parking instructions for the facility used that day

– Please provide an email you check regularly for updates and reminders about your class

– Registration is required online prior to the event in order to maintain class sizes

– Sales end 48 hours before the start date.

– Waitlists are available when the class sells out

What to Bring

Towel, mat or light chair to sit more comfortably on the forest floor

Day Pack

Warm Variable Weather Clothing

Hiking Shoes

Water Bottle

Eventbrite Confirmation Email

About the PRNSA Field Institute

The PRNSA Field Institute offers hands-on environmental education classes throughout the year that foster enjoyment of Point Reyes National Seashore. Our classes are led by expert instructors, who take you out of your everyday life and into the natural world. We host a variety of classes about the arts and sciences and have something for everyone. You can reach the Field Institute at (415) 663-1200 x304 or by email at

Interested in becoming a member of PRNSA? Click Here!

Interested in becoming a PRNSA Field Institute volunteer facilitator, or are you an outdoor educator or artist who would like to teach a PRNSA Field Institute class? Send an Email!

For any questions, please email us at

COVID-19 Field Institute Guidelines

In accordance with Marin County guidelines for public health and safety, we ask all participants to respect the following COVID-19 procedures:

• Perform a health self-check before coming to class using the CDC Symptoms of Coronavirus as a guide

• Do not attend class if you are experiencing COVID symptoms, suspect you have been exposed to the virus, or are suffering from any other flu-like or respiratory illness

• Participants exhibiting signs of respiratory illness may be asked to leave class

• Masks are optional but are strongly recommended when indoors or if gathered closely outside

• Please bring your own food and water

NOTE: Refund policy exceptions will be made for participants cancelling last minute due to COVID-19 infection or symptoms. Please contact us in this case.

Thank you for your cooperation in following these guidelines to help keep everyone safe.