Join us on 3,900 acres of oak woodlands, Coastal Redwood groves, and more at one of the most beautiful parks in Northern California. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is our home site for researching and leading Shinrin-Yoku and forest therapy walks We are intimately familiar with the landscape, the trails, and the bioregion. Participants will also experience Quarry Hill Botanical Gardens. Quarry Hill is one of the pre-eminent Asian botanical gardens globally, featuring one of the largest collections of documented, wild-collected Asian plants in the world. It is place of delightful discovery, with each bend in the trail bringing new surprises.
Registering for a training begins by completing an application which may take 20-30 minutes. This application is a way for us to get to know you and to determine if we think you will make a good forest therapy guide. Once your application is received, our admissions team will review it and, if you are accepted into the program, send an acceptance letter within three weeks. This letter will contain all the information for next steps, including a registration link to reserve your space in the training. To promote an optimal learning environment, we generally cap enrollment at 21 participants per training. Applications we receive after we have filled the training will be placed on a waitlist. If an accepted applicant drops out, we will contact the next applicant on the waitlist until the training is full again.Read More
An amazing natural haven of 3,900 acres in Kenwood, California. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is located northeast of Kenwood in the Mayacamas Mountains between the Sonoma and Napa valleys. A favorite park for families, Sugarloaf boasts a variety of activities with stunning vistas and amazing scenery. Key features of the park include:
Best views overlooking the North Bay with vistas to San Francisco, Napa Valley, Mt. St Helena and the Sierras on clear days!Year-round campground with 47 sites, each with a table and fire ring. Bathrooms have hot showers and separate group camping!Over 25 miles of hiking trails. From an easy 1-mile nature trail to a challenging 8.2-mile loop over Bald Mountain.Spectacular wildflower displays in the early to late spring and early summer.Robert Ferguson Observatory, which houses a 40″ telescope and offers public viewings throughout the year. It’s the largest observatory dedicated solely to public viewing and education.Great mountain biking and horseback riding accessible trails.Headwaters to Sonoma Creek, Sugarloaf boasts a 25-foot waterfall after the winter rains.Visitor Center with park historic information and a gift shop.Diverse beauty – Sugarloaf runs through gorge and canyon, across the meadow floor, beneath scenic rock outcroppings, and is surrounded at times by redwoods and ferns.Wildlife spotting – deer, gray foxes, the occasional bobcat and coyote can be seen in the park.
Accommodations: We’ll be tent camping within a campground with modern bathrooms and coin-operated showers. Participants are responsible for bringing their own camping gear. Contact us if you need information for nearby rental resources. If you have your own car, it is possible to stay off-site in hotels or bed and breakfast lodging in the towns of Kenwood, Sonoma, or Santa Rosa. We have reserved three campsites that our group will share, so ou do not need to contact Sugarloaf Ridge to make campground reservations. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is a camping venue; campground and parking fees are not included in the registration fee. We will collect a fee of $90 from each participant who stays at the campground at the time of the training.
Our trainers are among the most experienced guides in the world and each one undergoes a rigorous training process beyond their certification as guides. The trainers listed below are subject to change based on trainer availability. No matter which trainers you work with, you will be taught by the best in the field.
Jackie is a trainer and business consultant with the Association of Nature and ForestTherapy Guides and Programs. She’s a certified forest therapy guide trained in 2017 at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, and has been guiding regularly in her community ever since. She’s one of the first guides to pioneer guiding walks remotely via Zoom when the pandemic made guiding in-person unsafe for many months in 2020. Born and raised in China, Jackie came to the United States in1990 to pursue her PhD in American Literature. She has had a diverse background in various fields such as teaching, translating, marketing, and practicing as aCertified Public Accountant. One of her greatest joys in guiding is witnessing the positive impact on participants’ well-being, including that of her own autistic son.
Carolynne Crawley is a Mi'kmaw woman with mixed ancestry from the EastCoast. She is dedicated to social and environmental justice and supportingIndigenous led community work related to food sovereignty and food security.She has worked with one of Canada’s largest food security organizations for thepast decade as the Indigenous Food Access Manager, increasing access to affordableand healthy foods, developing a cross cultural youth program focusing upon theIndigenous way of being in relationship with land, and organizing a provincewide Indigenous Food Sovereignty Gathering. She has also built school foodgardens, created and facilitated curriculum -linked food literacy programs forboth students and teachers. Carolynne is passionate about connecting peoplewith the land, themselves, and with each other. She leads workshops inrelationship building to develop and strengthen healthy, reciprocalrelationships based upon Indigenous teachings that decolonize existinginteractions with the land.
Ben Page is a Forest Therapy Guide, global advocate for the practice and the author of Healing Trees: A Pocket Guide to Forest Bathing. He is the founder of Shinrin Yoku LA and Integral Forest Bathing and has been guiding Forest Therapy walks since 2015. During his tenure as a trainer and mentor of guides, Ben has trained hundreds of guides around the world. From 2017-2020, he also served as the Director of Training for the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, specializing in curriculum and pedagogical design and was the main designer of the ANFT Forest Therapy Guide Training on Thinkific. Since his practice began, Ben has been featured in such publications as Women’s Health, USA TODAY, Good Morning America, The Washington Post, and WebMD. Ben is also a co-founder of The Open School, Southern California’s only free democratic school. He holds a B.A. in religious studies from Carleton College and an M.A. in human development and social change from Pacific Oaks College.
Caitlin C. Williams brings more than two decades of experience in nature mentoring, human development, wildlife tracking, wilderness survival, environmental science, and naturalist skills. She works in partnership with organizations offering deep nature experiences, skills for development of an ecological self and tools for ecological restoration. Caitlin is Adjunct Faculty at Weaving Earth: Center for Relational Education. She has been a mentor and guide with ANFT since the first training in 2014.