Rejuvenate, de-stress and enliven your senses with forest bathing, the simple Japanese wellness practice of spending quiet, mindful time immersed in nature, under the canopy of trees. From reducing anxiety and depression to alleviating pain, spending time in nature has been shown to have profound effects on one’s physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing. Immersing yourself in the forest is like coming back “home” to the centre of your being. Allow nature to awaken your senses. Slow down. Hug a tree. Recharge and reconnect at The Laughing Forest.
At The Laughing Forest, you choose what feels right for you. Trails are experiential.
Our trails are well-marked and wind throughout the 70-acre forest, and are perfect for self-guided hikes. There are several family-friendly walking/hiking loops to enjoy, each enriched with subtle messages that are symbolic of how to live a gentler life, a more peaceful life – a life of joy. Trails are rated easy to moderate level of difficulty, with some inclines and uneven footing throughout. Some trail loops have an even terrain, without inclines, for easier accessibility. The natural forest floor trails weave through old growth stands and mixed forest, plentiful with plant life, mossy glens and moss-covered forest floor.
The Eagle trail to the highest point, overlooking the North Channel to the mouth of Lake Huron, is a more challenging hike as it has a moderately steep incline to the top, and moderately steep descent. Proper footwear is essential for this trail.
An experiential self-guided hike provides glimpses into the life of trees and plants, animal spirit guides, and other mystical wonders. Visit the magical fairy glen, spend time in solitude at one of several meditation points, or experience a Labyrinth Prayer Walk at the stone labyrinth and at the forest labyrinth.
Self-guided Chakra Walk
When energy is flowing freely through our chakras, harmony, joy and a sense of wellbeing follow. Visit the 7 chakra meditation points in the forest, each one created unique to the chakra it serves to balance. The 7 chakras are energy centres along the spine, and function much like our spiritual nervous system. Each chakra site in the forest features a description of the chakra and its associations, a meditation, a cleansing mantra, simple activities to heal and balance the chakra, along with movements that help energy flow freely. Journaling along the Chakra Walk is a perfect tool for introspection.
If you are purchasing a day pass at The Laughing Forest, and are planning to spend the day, and would like to experience a reiki session, which includes chakra balancing, please make an appointment in advance as we cannot promise availability otherwise. Call 705-662-1469 for an appointment.
Bird watching and nature photography
The Laughing Forest, a bird-watchers paradise, is on the edge of the North Channel, bordering a protected wetland along a migratory bird path that is home to several boreal bird species including: the pileated woodpecker, downy woodpecker, black-backed woodpecker, great horned owl, Canada jay, boreal chickadee, spruce grouse, red-shouldered hawk, the common yellow-throat warbler and prairie warbler, Northern flicker, sandpipers, great blue heron, sandhill crane, osprey, loons, ducks and, of course, the majestic bald eagle and golden eagle. Bring your binoculars.
Please call us in advance to book a specific date for a guided hike, or check the calendar for upcoming dates or e-mail email@example.com for info. Individual and small group rates apply.
Guided Meditation Hikes
Guided hikes can be tailored to your needs. Your hike can be a moving meditation through the forest, where you are guided to mindfully walk the trails, using all your senses to connect with the elements of nature, bringing quiet and stillness to the mind. Meditation hikes are like soul food, nurturing the spirit, while dissolving worries of the day, and offer a perfect mindfulness practice in the busyness of everyday life.
Guided Mother Earth Hikes
Explore the flora and fauna of the forest through a guided hike. Discover the life, the wisdom and the healing power of trees and plants and how we are innately connected to all living things. You may be blessed to catch the call of a great horned owl or spot a playful porcupine along the way. The animals that walk among us have many things to teach us as people. Mother Earth provides us with everything we need to live a good life. You will leave with a sense of awe and wonderment.
Scat Attack Saturdays
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign. Though we’re not professional poop hunters, we’ve had great fun over the years hunting and identifying animal tracks and scat throughout the forest, not to mention other signs of wildlife, like the pine tree turned into a scratch post by a bobcat. Join us for a fun, learning experience.
Retreat to solitude to one of the many meditation points in the Laughing Forest. Whether you are seeking peace and solitude to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, or a private place for meditation, journaling or yoga, you’ll appreciate the peaceful nooks throughout the old growth forest.
Stay the Night
Retreat to the Zen Den for an overnight stay. Surrounded by nature, and overlooking the mouth of the North Channel, the Zen Den has all the amenities for a comfortable glamping stay, including solar panels (perfect for writers who feel called to the arms of nature to really get creative juices flowing). Meander to a nearby meditation point to capture the morning sunrise for some sungazing, or follow the trail through the woods, down to the waterfront beach for a little bit of yoga. It’s your little piece of paradise to enjoy. Click to learn more.