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Where to go forest bathing in Seattle, WA

Become one with nature, once the smoke clears 🍁

A park filled with trees in autumn with various leaf colors

Cascade Forest Therapy conducts sessions at the Seattle Arboretum in addition to Lincoln Park.

When you hear “forest bathing” you might think: Does this involve scrubbing down trees with a loofa? Are there moss-covered rubber duckies involved? 🧼

Based on the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, the term refers to the act of walking slowly + mindfully through nature, getting in better touch with your senses, and not worrying about a specific destination. Think less Lewis + Clarke and more Henry David Thoreau or Luke Skywalker in the Dagobah system.

Unfortunately, going outdoors has been an assault on the senses of late due to all the wildfire smoke. But with changing weather patterns set to hopefully give the forests a literal bath and Seattle Forest Week beginning Sat., Oct. 22, this should be a good time to turn over a new leaf. Just check that air quality index before venturing out. 🍂

How it’s done 🌲

Find a spot in the woods (or really anywhere you can be surrounded by greenery), shut off your cell, and stroll through the nature-filled area at a leisurely pace. Focus on your individual senses.

Can you hear the crunch of twigs under your boots? What kinds of birds do you hear (besides, ya know, crows)? Commit 15-60 minutes to this chillaxed activity.

Make sure you really immerse yourself in each moment. Take a breath, then rinse + repeat as needed.

Bather’s paradise 🛁

With 6,000+ acres of parks, there is no shortage of places to enjoy nature in the city. Spring and summer are popular forest bathing times, but late autumn brings milder temps, changing leaves, and larches as far as the eye can see. Just wear a raincoat once we finally get that promised precipitation.

Soaking it all in 📌

  • Be’er Sheva Park | Sun., Oct. 23 | 12-3 p.m. | Free | Celebrate Seattle Arbor Day with an intro to forest bathing and activities for kids.
  • UW Campus | Various days and times | Free | Explore various serene spots on your own like Heron Haven.
  • Lincoln Park | First Saturday of every month | 10-11:30 a.m. | $30 | Experts from co-op Cascadia Forest Therapy guide folks through each session.
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