Freshly Foraged Foods and Nature Exploration Are Getting Their Day in the Sun
A spring road trip to Northeast Pennsylvania is the perfect way to re-awaken your tastebuds and energy levels as nature begins to thaw after a long winter’s rest. When cabin fever might feel like it is at its peak, planning a road trip is the perfect prescription to help welcome in the new season. The Lodge at Woodloch is located just a few hours from most metropolitan cities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The all-inclusive destination spa resort holds awards as a top spa in the world for good reason. The jam-packed activity schedule includes everything from creative arts, cooking demonstrations and wine tastings, fitness/MindBody classes, outdoor adventures, and of course spa treatments galore.
The Lodge at Woodloch has long been at the forefront of showcasing artfully crafted meals that have a healthy twist. The award-winning destination spa has embraced the desire for guests to truly know where their food comes from and how it is prepared. Guests can tour the on-property Blackmore Farm-to-Table garden where the Chef and garden team grow herbs and vegetables for the restaurant and spa. The orchard, bee hives, and healing garden are also huge draws. But much to the team’s surprise, the forest that surrounds the beautiful property is where the real harvest can be found.
As more and more people understand the importance of their personal connection with nature, The Lodge at Woodloch has evolved to meet the demand. Recently, with Naturalist Joshua Heath at the helm, the Outdoor Adventure department reorganized and expanded to become the Outdoor Experiences department, in order to house a new section dedicated to mindfulness in nature. Hiking, biking, kayaking, and fly-fishing will remain options through Outdoor Adventure.
The Mindfulness in Nature section includes classes such as forest therapy walks, sunrise photo walks and tea classes, in addition to existing offerings such as Forest Bathing, birdhouse decorating, terrarium classes and more. One of Josh’s favorite pieces of advice for being mindful in nature is getting guests to slow down. “I like to set an uncomfortably slow pace,” explains Heath. “People are so used to rushing from point A to point B that they don’t have the capability of truly slowing down. I like to remind guests of the famous quote by Lao Tzu, “Nature doesn’t hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
Importance of nature
Back in 2000, Australian sustainability professor Glenn Albrecht coined a term psychoterratica- the trauma caused by distance from nature. There has been study after study and book after book written outlining the powerful effects of not having a steady dose of nature, such as “Nature Fix” by Florence Williams, “The Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv, and “Your Brain on Nature” by Eva Selhub. With a hefty goal of helping guests to fully understand and embrace the importance of nature in their lives (for their mind, body, and soul), the true sign of success would be that guests continue their nature practice long after they leave the guiding hands at The Lodge at Woodloch.
The true star of The Lodge at Woodloch’s location, which is tucked among 500+ wooded acres, is always the forest that surrounds the iconic property. The forest and foodies unite in amazing ways through exclusive classes such as the Edible and Medicinal Plant Walk, Seasonal Foraging, and fermented food classes. One of the most popular seasonal offerings is the Edible and Medicinal Plant Walk that ends with a gourmet tasting of what can be found on our nature trails.
Herbalist, Heather Houskeeper, ends her classes with a tasting of such delights such as Stinging Nettle Pesto on Cucumbers, Fiddlehead and Chanterelle Risotto, and Potato Ramp Soup. This class is often a huge awakening for guests because they realize that plants that they once considered to be weeds at home can be packed with nutrients and prepared to impress guests!
Guests truly love combining the amazing nature experiences and foodie exploration options through:
Chef Curated Garden Dinners:
Executive Chef Josh Tomson is switching up the typical Farm-to-Table dinner by bringing the Table to the Farm! The garden patio has been expanded and food preparation area enhanced. The intimate Chef-led tasting dinners will occur a few times per week and will take place right on the deck in the center of Blackmore garden. The two-hour tasting will be led by Chef Josh (or one of his talented Chefs) as he selects and prepares the harvest focus for the dinner. All dinners are paired with a wine selected by Sommelier, Leslie Britt. There is a slight up-charge for the intimate dinner experience of $75
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Garden Fresh Cooking Demonstrations:
New to the summer calendar are cooking demonstrations taking place right at the garden. The Chef team will collaborate to highlight the garden harvest with recipes. That will focus on summer outdoor entertaining and mastering the grill. The garden cooking demonstrations begin in the summer and will continue while seasonable.
The perfect way to truly get the full experience is by selecting the Gourmand Getaway Package:
- A bottle of Sommelier selected red wine and a Lodge at Woodloch wine key
- One copy of The Lodge at Woodloch’s own Nurture with Nature cookbook
- One recipe notebook
- A cheese plate served on our signature Lodge at Woodloch slate serving board
- Two Lodge at Woodloch aprons to take home
- Signature trail mix for the ride home
The package requires a two-night stay and is based on the Intro to Spa Package. Rates start at $520 per person, per night.
Additional gourmand travel offerings include:
- Cooking and Baking Demonstrations
- Wine-tasting Classes
- Garden classes such as Planning for a Successful Garden and the Honey Bee Talk
- Food inspired spa treatments such as: Rosemary Awakening Body Treatment or The Lodge Body Polish with Grapefruit & Black Pepper
- Nutritional Counselor Cooking Demonstrations and Workshops
- Unique gourmand outdoor adventures (seasonal) such as: Edible & Medicinal Plant Walks, Seasonal Foraging, and the Bog Talk