Travel Tips

Tips for Traveling to The Hostel in the Forest

These raised beds are in The Secret Garden at the hostel.

After visiting The Hostel in the Forest multiple times, I've come away with some good tips and tricks for first-timers. But before I start rattling off a list of rules, I want to remind you to enjoy yourself.

The spring-fed lake is nude-friendly, so a bathing suit isn't necessary, but if you're feeling a little shy, remember to bring one. Guests usually sit around a fire at night, so bring s'mores supplies and you'll make friends fast.

As energizing as the forest is, it is also a peaceful place, so if you're looking for solitude and reflection, you'll probably enjoy the maze and the glass house. You can practice yoga and meditate at the glass house, in the gardens or even on the shore of the lake. Just find a spot and take it all in.

  1. Cost
  2. You must be a member to stay at the hostel. You'll be asked to join at check-in. It's $25 per person per night. Cash and travelers checks are accepted, but credit cards are not. If you're willing to work during your visit, you can stay for free in the bunkhouse.

  3. Housing
  4. You can stay in a treehouse, enclosed room or the bunkhouse. Some of the treehouses don't have four walls, but instead have a screen replacing one or more of the walls. When planning a trip, prepare ahead of time for the weather. Bring comfortors and extra layers during colder months if you're not staying in an enclosed room.

    *Staying in a treehouse and waking up to only a screen between you and the forest is part of the experience though, so be adventerous, but smart.

  5. Cellphones
  6. Cellphone use is not permitted in communal areas. If you're up to it, turn off your cellphone during your stay. It can be quite liberating to enjoy the forest community and let the outside world buzz on without you.

  7. Food
  8. Vegetarian- and vegan-friendly, communal dinners are provided every night. They have quite a few chickens though, so meat and eggs are sometimes available. Bring your own food and store it in the cupboard and fridge for breakfast and lunch, which are not provided. Just remember to label everything with your name unless you're willing to share. Speaking of which, there's a communal shelf in the cupboard. The kitchen is for you to use. It has all the supplies you need, including a compost bin.

  9. Amenities
  10. The hostel provides blankets, sheets, and pillows (and pillowcases), so there's no need to bring your own. However, I recommend bringing extra blankets from home during colder months. There are outdoor showers and an outdoor tub. Dr. Bronner's soap is provided. The bathrooms are outdoors as well. The toilets don't flush. Instead, saw dust is used to compost your food waste.

The Hostel in the Forest website provides a more detailed list of what to expect, so check it out before you make a reservation.