DNR Parks And Recreation News

What’s Happening In Wisconsin’s State Parks,
Forests, Trails And Recreation Areas

Cropped Photo of a creek and forest during winter

Winter forests offer unique perspectives on the outdoor experience. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

Splish Splash Take A Forest Bath

Forest bathing is a practice where individuals saturate themselves in nature, focus on mindfulness and use their senses to connect with the great outdoors.

There are a few factors that make winter forest bathing more challenging, including needing to put on extra gear. The natural winter conditions can feel harsh if unprepared.

Despite the cold, getting outside to your nearby forest can be surprisingly rewarding. Viewing greenery has been shown to improve happiness and well-being, along with other physical, emotional, mental and social benefits.

Here are some ways to comfortably forest bathe this winter:

  • Keep trips outside short and do them more often.
  • Practice indoors. Use the senses to take in nature through a door or window.
  • Watch videos of nature focused on serenity. Listen to the sounds of the forest. Smell the earth’s minerals and organic matter from just outside.
  • Try guided meditation and visualize the forests.
  • If you can’t get outside, indoor greenery and houseplants offer an alternative way to enjoy nature.
  • Learn to aquascape by designing and growing aquatic plants within your home aquarium.
  • Visit a nearby greenhouse or botanical garden.

Today is the day to get outside and #OutWiGo!