As seen in the middle of nowhere

With Earth Day around the corner, now’s an ideal time to sooth your soul and enjoy our natural backdrop here in Vancouver.

Forest bathing, a Japanese form of nature therapy, was developed in the 1980’s. You simply take in nature, keeping your mind focused on the senses, rather than on your smart phone.

Whether you’re feeling for a slow, meditative stroll or sitting in a tranquil spot, forest bathing has taken off in many corners of the world, as it helps to reduce stress and fatigue while lift your spirits — and maintain physical distancing.

Photo courtesy of Destination BC Dave Heath
[Photo by Dave Heath, courtesy of Destination BC]

The key to getting the most out of a forest bath is first off, to disconnect from tech. Once you’ve found a spot to take in, sit or stand quietly and listen, breathe, smell and look around. Can you smell the essence of the forest? Is the air calm or do you feel a breeze passing by? Are birds chirping nearby? The art of forest bathing is simply to take it all in at your own pace.

Tourism Vancouver Kazutoshi Yoshimura
[Photo by Kazutoshi Yoshimura, courtesy of Destination BC]

PACIFIC SPIRIT REGIONAL PARK, near UBC, contains 55 km of walkable nature trails, perfect for forest bathing! Here’s a link to the park map to orient you before you head out.

LIGHTHOUSE PARK is technically in West Vancouver, but is worth a visit for the gorgeous old-growth trees and forested trails. Away from the busy lighthouse, we recommend both Valley of the Giants and Arbutus trails, both of which can be found on the park map.

STANLEY PARK is another top-notch place to enjoy being at one with nature. The quieter, pedestrian-only Meadow Trail, Tatlow Walk and Lees Trail are often less crowded than the seawall path. Here’s a park map to help orient yourself with the trail system there.

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