Nestled in the south of Vermont is a farm that is teeming with wildlife and rustic trails that will transport you into a tale from the Brothers Grimm. Welcome to the Wild Trails Farm and my retreat journey of spirituality, wellness, and inner peace.
Driving up a dirt road as trees bend overhead for what felt like only seconds, a sprawling view of a house and barns appeared before me. This was my humble abode for the next few days as I grabbed my bags and headed inside. Waiting for me were pitchers of tea, snacks, and the smiling faces of the retreat hostesses. Jo, who would be leading yoga later that week, and Heather, the all knowing brain for Wild Trails Farm.
This multi-acre property offers skiing opportunities, swimming, hikes, and of course some R-and-R.
I headed up to my room, the Library, and made myself at home with the leather chairs and natural light pouring in. It was my personal heaven (as a bookish type).
After unpacking, I went back downstairs to check out the rest of the property, which is 400+ acres!
Next to the house was the on-site staff, Dan and Keana, and their many adorable animals. They were amazing – they helped me when I locked my keys in my car during the retreat, and invited me to chow on their freshly caught fish. They make Wild Trails Farm run like a dream.
Past their house is a lake with hammocks and plenty of fish swimming around. I would frequent there often to read a book, take a cat nap, or even fish. (Yes, I caught a fish!). It was a slice of paradise only a few yards away.
After some time, I headed back inside for a quick meeting of my fellow retreaters. There were all types of personalities and backgrounds, but we shared the purpose of wellbeing and peace during this getaway.
The sunset was gorgeous from my bedroom window, and I snuggled in bed to rest up for a busy day tomorrow.
Delicious sunlight gently woke me up as I lazed in fluffy sheets and plush pillows… As warm and wonderful as it was, I had to get up and enjoy the day. I spent the morning wandering around on one of the trails while snacking on sunflower seeds. The green mountains went on forever and the sky looked never-ending as I made my way back to the house. There waiting for me was a lunch set-up, and full of cold cuts, breads, spreads, and desserts. I made my plate and sat by the lilac bush out on the patio for an hour or so.
For the first activity: a crystal sound bowl presented by Priscilla Gale. A former opera singer-turned-sound bowl healer, she came to the practice after suffering great loss and found peace in the sound frequencies. Lined up was a parade of bowls ranging in size, color, and effects (each one impacting a different chakra). The group and I laid on blankets and I opted for an eye mask to really help me relax. Then it was time, as Priscilla tapped the first bowl and the sounds washed over everyone. Singing bowls hit every corner of my soul as I started going inwards. Asking myself questions, watching what came up, and ultimately drifting off into a slumber as my body vibrated. What felt like both ten minutes and three hours of basking in the heavenly frequencies, the sound bowl healing was done. Everyone was in a trance-like haze but felt calmer… more serene. One woman (the owner’s wife, Natalie) declared that her toe, which had nerve damage and was oftentimes hard to move, was able to bend and flex. The power of these bowls was astounding. This was my first time experiencing anything like this… I mean, I’ve done the videos online, but in person? A whole different experience! We thanked Priscilla for her generous gift of sound, then parted ways.
I drifted up to my room for my massage appointment. As I entered, I met a woman with a cheery yet chill demeanor: Lindsay. She asked me the standard questions: problem areas, type of pressure, and any places to avoid. I was feeling a bit tight in my tummy and lower back so I requested her to focus on those sections. She stepped out as I de-robed and laid on the table. After some time she let herself in, working her magic as I drifted back into a state of bliss. There are no words to describe the care, attention, and general tenderness she bestowed upon my body — a body that’s been doing a lot of driving and sitting, to say the least. The hour slipped away and as the final sounds of the ethereal music twinkled away, she was done. My body radiated with tranquility as she finished my session with a head massage, which was the final touch to an amazing experience. I thanked her and once she left, crawled into bed for a few minutes. I had Reiki in an hour and wanted to rest up.
Once my alarm went off, it was time to head to my session with Cynthia Kelley, a Reiki expert and fellow Taurus. Her grounding energy lulled me into a state of openness to the experience, and her intentional touch soothed any anxiety that laid within me. Our half hour session was all too short as we discussed life’s journey of ebbs and flows.
After this session I felt rejuvenated, and I went downstairs for a bite to eat and some lounging by the lake. The sound of birds and fish swimming left me with good vibes and another nap for the day. When I woke up I had to catch the sunset with some of my fellow retreat-goers. Vermont skies are out of a storybook with brilliant orange, blue, and red hues. Once it grew dark, I headed back in for a quick shower, some reading, and well-deserved sleep.
My third day at Wild Trail Farms started with a yoga class led by Jo Bregnard, one of the facilitators of the retreat and an incredible yoga instructor. Her soothing voice guided us through the different positions and flows, and she emphasized that this was Yang energy. Halfway through the class we switched into a more restorative Yin approach. We laid on our backs and went inwards for who knows how long. When I came back to my body, I had a moment of respite that I wish I could hold to forever. Well, maybe not forever – but for that moment, yes.
After the yoga session, it was time for the final activity as a group: the trails at Wild Trails Farm. Jim, the owner of the land, led the group across the expansive landscape of Vermont. The thick grass brushed my legs as we hiked up the trail admiring the natural world taking shape around us.
Eventually we made it to one of the greatest views I’ve ever seen: a cliff overlooking the mountains. There was a peaceful energy that flowed through the group as we snapped photos and admired the sight. Too soon though, we continued on our way back to the lodging and had lunch.
For the remainder of the day, I grabbed a book and headed back on the trail to explore what Wild Trails Farm has to offer. The trails had markings in various colors, which is useful for not only hikers like me, but skiers during the cold months as well. I have never skied but after this retreat, I’m reconsidering it. Once the sun set, I made my way back to my room and called it a night. The last day I said my goodbyes and headed back on the road, heading southbound.
This retreat at Wild Trail Farms showed me that there’s so much beauty to be found in taking time to slow down in nature and to be in touch with myself. If you’re interested in having an experience of self reflection and love, be sure to check out the Midsummer Magic Group Retreat in July. You wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity to rest and restore at Wild Trails Farm.
WILD TRAILS FARM
400 Ruusunen Road
Springfield, Vermont 05156