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Fri, Jul 26


Columbia River Gorge Natl Scenic Area

Heartland Summer Retreat 2024

Connect with nature in a new way on this weekend retreat. Located at a private 5-acre property within the Columbia River National Scenic Area.

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Heartland Summer Retreat 2024
Heartland Summer Retreat 2024

Time & Location

Jul 26, 2024, 4:00 PM – Jul 28, 2024, 2:30 PM

Columbia River Gorge Natl Scenic Area, Corbett, OR, USA

About the event

The Heartland Summer Retreat is an opportunity to take a break from technology, work, and city life to experience nature in a new way. Tucked away in the hills above the Columbia River Gorge, this 5-acre property offers a beautiful and private place to connect with the forest undisturbed by crowds and tourists. Sleep in the cabin or pitch a tent nestled among thimble berry bushes, moss-covered trees, and the cascading creek. 

This retreat will be technology free, allowing you to reconnect with yourself and life around you without your phone or other devices. For most of us this is difficult and sometimes uncomfortable, but is often incredibly rewarding.

In addition to resting and exploring the forest, Michael will be offering 3 optional workshops on mindfulness, forest bathing, and wilderness ceremony. These workshops offer a variety of contemplative tools to deepen your experience of connection with nature:

Mindfulness is a practice of training the mind to be in the present moment. Rooted in Buddhist and Hindu teachings, this tool helps develop compassionate and non-judgmental awareness that can provide profound insight and re-awaken you to the fullness of life. Mindfulness also provides tools for working with discomfort, anxiety, and negative thinking. On this retreat you will receive basic mindfulness instruction and will learn specific techniques for practicing mindfulness in outdoor settings.

Forest Bathing, or shinrin-yoku in Japanese, is a practice of experiencing the forest with all of your senses.  Forest bathing involves slow, mindful walking in nature,  paying close attention to what's around you using your senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch). Research has shown forest bathing to have a variety of health benefits for humans, including boosting the immune system, improving mood, regulating blood pressure, helping with sleep, and much more. 

Wilderness Ceremony describes intentional and creative activities done by humans in nature to find meaning, purpose, and inspiration. Examples of wilderness ceremonies include the Native American Vision Quest, Medicine Walk, the more modern "Sit Spot", the Nordic ritual of "Utiseta" ("sitting out"), and many others. These ceremonies often include fasting, solitude, and other ways to alter consciousness to  receive information, inspire change, or serve as an initiation or rite of passage. For this workshop, you will learn about various wilderness ceremony elements and explore creating your own personal 2-3 hour ceremonial experience in nature. 

Retreat Agenda:

Day 1:

  • 4:00pm: Arrival, orientation and introduction
  • 4:30pm: Mindfulness workshop (optional)
  • 6:30pm: Dinner and freetime
  • 8:30pm Campfire/music/stargazing

Day 2:

  • 8:00am:  Breakfast
  • 10:00am: Forest Bathing workshop (optional)
  • 12:30pm: Lunch and freetime
  • 2:00pm: Wilderness Ceremony workshop (optional)
  • 6:30pm Dinner and freetime
  • 8:30pm Campfire/music/stargazing

Day 3:

  • 8:00am:  Breakfast
  • 9:00am: Forest hike
  • 12:30pm: Lunch and closing activities
  • 2:30pm: Depart

About the Property:

This 5-acre property is located about an hour from Portland in the Columbia River National Scenic Area. The land is densely forested here, but there is a large meadow near the cabin and a cool, rushing creek at the edge of the property. The cabin has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, with 2 common spaces and a kitchen. The property is surrounded on all sides by national forest land, which means no neighbors and plenty of public land to explore. There are several great hiking trails following the creek or winding along a ridge above the property. 

See photos of the property here.

Pricing and Accommodations:

There are three sleeping options for this retreat:

  • Private bedroom with queen bed: $300
  • Shared indoor sleeping space (bring your own sleeping bag and pad: $200
  • Camp outside (bring your own camping gear): $200

Keep in mind there are only two bedrooms available, everyone else will be either in the shared indoor sleeping space or camping outside. If you want to camp outside, please bring your own tent and anything else you need to be comfortable.

Work trade option to save $100 on your registration: If you attend a 4-hour work day at the property, your registration price can be decreased by $100. These work days will occur in July, August, and September, and the work will primarily be focused on removal of invasive species on the property (blackberry and english ivy). For more information or to schedule your work day, email Michael at Use coupon code WORKDAY when registering to agree to this work trade and decrease the price by $100.

Additional Details:

  • The retreat activities will begin Friday, July 28 at 4pm. Please arrive between 3-4pm to get checked in and settled. The retreat will end on Sunday, July 28 at 2:30pm. Ride sharing is suggested to limit cars parked on site.
  • Heartland will provide meals starting with dinner on Friday and ending with lunch on Sunday. Please bring any snacks or supplementary food you will need.
  • Participants must be able to hike at least 3 miles including up hills and on uneven ground. Please bring sturdy hiking shoes/boots.
  • This retreat is for adults 18+

Registration and Policies:

Please register early as this retreat is limited to 9 participants. After registration you will receive the following:

  • Welcome letter and packing list
  • Liability waiver to sign and return
  • Dietary and medical information form to fill out and return

Refunds for cancellations are available as follows:

  • 100% refund if cancellation is prior to 4 weeks before departure.
  • 50% refund if cancellation is 1-4 weeks before departure.
  • No refund available for cancellations less than 1 week before trip. Thank you for understanding.

Questions? Email

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