This winter RiseVT set out to see check out the Enosburgh Town Forest.  With such a mild winter, the planned snowshoe walk turned into a hike.  The walk was hosted by the Enosburgh Conservation Commission.  Nancy Patch, the Franklin/Grand Isle County Forester, provided a wealth of knowledge along the way.

As the group walked up into the forest, following the blue tape set out the season before, Nancy told us all about the history of the forest, the way trees grows and the population details, and taught about the animal habitat and its relation to the forest.  It was inspiring and I recommend that if you ever get a chance to take a walk with your local forester to go for it.

One of the things that I took away from this experience was the peace of mind and the healing effects of spending time in the forest or woods.  A term “forest bathing” was discussed.  Apparently, in Japan, they believe that spending several hours at a time, slowly walking through the forest (forest bathing) has many positive affects including calming neuro-psychological effects through changes in the nervous system and increasing levels of the hormone adiponectin, which is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other disorders.

Every study conducted so far has demonstrated reductions in stress, anger, anxiety, depression and sleeplessness amongst the subjects who have participated. In Japan there are now 44 accredited “Forest bathing” forests.

So, if you feel like you might benefit from a nice walk in the forest, check out the Enosburgh Town Forest or your local surroundings to find some peace among the trees 🙂 

The Enosburgh Town Forest is located on Longley Bridge Road, which can be accessed from the Montgomery or West Enosburgh Side.  You will see a sign for the forest and then, very important, the area to walk in is across the road.  The sign side of the forest is very wet, where the other side is not and has the start of a trail marked out in blue ribbon.

For more information contact the Enosburgh Conservation Commission or to find trails in your area go to www.trailfinder.info