Forest Bathing in Fort Wayne
By: Shelby Cook
Feeling stressed? A quiet walk through the woods could be helpful. I’m serious–this is a real thing! The simple practice of immersing oneself for quiet contemplation in nature, aka forest bathing, originates from Japan. You see, trees are said to release healthful compounds into the air. Therefore, by “bathing” amongst them, you can reap the various benefits such as stress relief. With this in mind, a great place to engage with nature is our Nature Explore Classroom, located at Cedar Canyon elementary. The classroom is open to the public during off-school hours. In addition to our classroom, here are three places to forest bathe in Fort Wayne:
- Southwest Allen County Schools’ Environmental Center
Now, I’m beginning with this location because I can speak about it from experience. The Southwest Allen County’s Environmental Center is tucked away on Homestead Road close to the high school. The location is rarely busy which makes it great for forest bathing. Take a walk across the bridge and along the trails. Or, sit on the dock of the pond, and watch the wildlife. How peaceful does that sound?!
- Eagle Marsh
I’ve never personally been to the next two locations; however, I’ve heard and read great things. That being said, it seems the most noteworthy aspect of Eagle Marsh is that it offers 10 miles of trails through a mature forest! The preserve also has a sedge meadow and shallow-water wetland, and it’s a great place to spot bald eagles.
- Dustin Nature Preserve
According to an article from Visit Fort Wayne, the trail that overlooks Cedar Creek at the Dustin Nature Preserve will make you feel like you’re hundreds of miles from Fort Wayne! The preserve is located north of Fort Wayne—near the outer edge of Huntertown—off of Chapman Road. It’s a great place to escape the busyness of life.
Overall, I encourage you to try one of these locations, and let us know what you think about forest bathing!