Back in the summer of 1975, a young man named Tom Dennard realised a dream of an International Hostel in the woods of Georgia. It is a beautiful oasis of natural living, adorned with rooms in the trees or what many of the participants have deemed tree houses. These rooms are truly in the trees. Many of them are brought off the land and raised into the trees, as well as built into the trees ins uch a way that they are coexisting with the trees themselves. Each of the rooms have a bed, a light, a dressor, and all of the needs of a hostel goer.
Many of these tree houses are open air, with only mosquito netting and screens keeping the pesky bugs out of the rooms. These rooms are wonderful located through out the property, and very often are secluded enough to provide a privacy that is expected. By saying this, I don’t want to say that there is no privacy; in fact there are drapes for the screens. It’s only $25/night, and you are given a great vegetarian meal full of protein and vegetables grown in the community garden. the only thig that is asked of you, is that you help out with one chore that will be assigned to you when you check in. if you’re only stayign the night, the chore is very light and menial. the longer the stay, the more you are asked to help out the community.
There are always events going on at the Hostel including a Yoga retreat, Meditation retreat, and even a Yogi retreat. It’s a perfect place for groups to get together or just get back to nature. Not only that, there is a sweat lodge on the land. in order to be part of the sweat lodge, you must follow the specific requirements of the sweat lodge, and expect to release of all toxins in your body. There are lodge guides, as well as meditation guides in the lodge.
Two geodesic domes were added and are now part of the community. In these large domes, there are kitchens, common areas, and in one a yoga room. This Yoga room, which is used for many other activities as well, is enclosed in almost 360 degrees of windows allowing you to be in and surrounded by the beautiful Georgia wilderness. Not only are you sourounded by the sights and sounds of nature, you are also surounded by the goodness of the people that work at the hostel. The group of people provide a beautiful serentity to the hostel and the grounds. Whereever you go, you find yourself amongst friends and companions on the road of enlightenment and happiness. The hostel has evolved into a spiritual retreat center and educational facility, not only for tired travelers, but for those in the working world who need a place of tranquility and serenity to escape.
The Hostel is conviently located in the beautiful aplachian foothills/mountains. The easiest way to get there is to get on I-95. When you get into the Brunswick, Ga area, get off on state road 82. After passing mile marker 11, slow down and you’ll see a small dirt road on your right with a gate and “The Hostel” sign.
Whether you’re coming to get away, comign to relax, or for one of the many programs you will not be disapointed. “The hostel in the Forest” is a once in a lifetime place to visit. However, if you want to visit more you’re more than welcome.