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Going inside the new trend of 'forest bathing' in Colorado

Posted at 4:33 PM, Sep 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-16 20:44:16-04

DENVER — A new trend has arrived in Colorado that appeals to nature lovers, meditators, and anyone looking to just slow down for a few moments. It’s called “forest bathing.”

“The point is to slow down and truly tune in your senses to the nature that surrounds you,” certified forest therapy guide Leona Campbell told Denver7.

The experience does not involve actual bathing, and it doesn’t need to take place in a forest, either. Denver7 met up with Campbell as she guided a group in Cheesman Park.

“We make our way though sight, what are the sounds, how does this feel, what are the smells?” she said. “Just a way of bringing ourselves into the present moment in a way we so rarely do.”

“Forest bathing” is not a hike, since there’s no destination. It’s also not a guided nature walk, where someone points out types of trees. There are also plenty of differences between meditation and this type of experience. It is a way of connecting with nature and others in the group, according to Campbell.

“To be able to open people’s senses to what’s rally around them is really gratifying,” guide-in-training Sandy Troyano said.

The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy is the organization that does the certifying of guides. They recently completed training sessions in Colorado.

“While it’s growing in Colorado, it is growing all over the world. The association has trained over 700 guides in 46 countries,” Campbell explained.

She leads guided walks and “forest bathing” sessions in conjunction with the Denver Botanic Gardens, as well as her personal business. She admitted that from the outside, it can look a bit odd to see people slowly walking in the woods, but that’s okay.

“It’s such an embodied thing that you feel but not easy to express in words or observe from the outside and understand what’s going on,” she said.

For more information on how to go “forest bathing” with Campbell, head to