Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Forest Bathing at Chantilly Farm, Floyd Virginia

Forest Bathing at Chantilly Farm
in Floyd County Virginia

Forest bathing: what is this? The short interpretation is using the forest for relaxation and stress reduction by simply walking, observing nature, resting, listening to sounds, in a beautiful forest.  Chantilly Farm has about 100 acres of incredible forest land with at least 20 varieties of hardwoods and many wonderful florafauna and fungi. Does forest bathing really work? Yes, there are many scientific studies that prove that it's really true and you can get beautiful results. 

The Tree of Wisdom near trail C
The Japanese were the first to use the term forest bathing in 1982. A trip through the forest includes pleasant visual views and the aroma from the trees and plants. There are real beneficial compounds emitted by the forest vegetation. Even the quietness of the forest or the breeze causing a musical sound in the leaves and branches help create what is known attention restoration theory (ART).  If you want to lower your blood pressure, improve you immune system, lower your heart rate and increase your feeling of well being then join us in the Forest of Chantilly Farm.

Hiking trail at Chantilly Farm, Floyd Virginia
The forest at Chantilly is idyllic - hiking & bike trails, great views, abundant wild game and birds, and a small spring fed stream. We are even building a "hidden garden"  and when you find it you will love the tranquility. 

The original trail that is near the festival area and uphill from the performance stage is trail A and is less then a half mile long. It does
TRANQUILITY Bridge to trails B & C. The little
stream provides a wonderful relaxing sound.
have a few steep parts along the trail and if you have any hiking handicaps you will need to be careful. Trails B and C are new and start just below campground B.  Trails B and C are easy hiking with no steep areas, and are accessed by crossing a small stream using Tranquility Bridge to the trail area. Trail B (bright orange ribbon marking) is very short and an easy hike of less then 1/4 mile, and Trail C (pink ribbon marking) is also an easy hike of 1/2 mile. 

There is an abundance of photographic opportunities in "The Forest at Chantilly" - dozens of different flora and fauna provide beautiful subjects for pictures.  In addition to the diverse plant and animal variety, there are several types of fungi, and beautiful white /clear quartz rocks of many shapes/sizes. You will find some rare flora near beautiful small spring fed streams in parts of our forest.
Chantilly Creek 2/3 
 Previous visitors have also used the white quartz rocks to make fairy or gnome houses. Be on the lookout for these beautiful structures. Please take the time to make your own fairy house from the bits and pieces of wood and rocks along the trail. This can be a wonderful way to relax and clear your mind of stressful thinking.  If you have some food, you may want to leave a meal for the fairies (here is their favorite food click).  The mountain views and sunrise/sunsets can be spectacular here in the mountains.

For people with a creative mind, and those desiring to cultivate their creativity, there are endless benefits to be gained from forest bathing in "The Forest of Chantilly." When visiting the farm, please sign in at the farm office and let us know you are going to be out in the Chantilly Forest. 

Camping under the stars at Chantilly Farm.
You can camp at Chantilly Farm and enjoy the great outdoors and nature here in the heart of the Blue Ridge mountains of Floyd, Virginia. Chantilly Farm is near the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile post 150.

"By David Larsen" Chantilly Farm, Floyd County Virginia

A little more research information:
A forest bathing trip involves visiting a forest for relaxation and recreation while breathing in volatile substances, called phytoncides (wood essential oils), which are antimicrobial volatile organic compounds derived from trees, such as α-Pinene andlimonene. Incorporating forest bathing trips into a good lifestyle was first proposed in 1982 by the Forest Agency of Japan. It has now become a recognized relaxation and/or stress management activity in Japan and the USA. Here is some interesting research by Cimprich B. in 2007.

Good reading: the University of Minnesota "What are Healing Gardens" by  Mary Jo Kreitzer, RN, PhD

Examples of fauna in Olleros de Tera (Spain)

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