Welcome to the Hostel in the Forest

The Hostel is a membership organization, please browse through our website before calling us to make a reservation. If you have further questions, we would be happy to answer them over the phone any day between 10am and 6pm, 912-264-9738. We can not accept reservations, cancellations or provide availability by email. If you have a reservation PLEASE try to check in by 7pm or let us know if you can’t.


We are always looking for skilled instructors willing to share their knowledge on a variety of subjects that support our vision. If you have some ideas or suggestions, or would like give a suitable presentation or workshop, please contact us..

If you are interested in working at the Hostel please review the applications page.*

Our Vision

The world would be a much healthier and better place if all its inhabitants advocated sustainability instead of unlimited growth. Rather than trying to control nature and use it as a resource for development, we should revere it, respect it, and work with it. The Hostel in the Forest is taking steps to manifest this vision. We see that nature’s creatures, including humans, animals, birds and insects share the same land in a unique manner. Inspired by the creativity found in the natural environment, we have transformed our ideas into actions by having an organic vegetable garden used in our dinners each night, recycling our wastes, having a cutting-edge gray-water system, watering plants with a solar powered irrigation system, and using a worm box that composts our table scraps into fertilizer for the garden. Hostel members sleep in tree houses, hike the T-trails through the 133 acre forest, swim and paddle canoes in the lake, take part in the healing process of walking our labyrinth, participate in the sweat lodges held on the nights of the full moon, eat a healthy vegetarian or vegan meal each night, and attend the many educational retreats and lectures designed to teach us how to move toward a wholesome and more sustainable future. We invite you to visit us and be a part of our work in progress; even participate in helping us with our projects, if you so desire. If you are financially able to do so, we would also be most appreciative of any gifts to our 501 C 3 tax-deductible organization in order to encourage and further our goals.


Latest News and Events

Hello Beautiful People, Forest Fusion is Back!

Join us for love, laughs, and fun in the Forest. A weekend of crafts, workshops, and learning, celebrating the July 4th anniversary of the Hostels 42nd year.We will be offering Dinner each night and Brunch Saturday and Sunday.

Activities will include Weaving Dream Catchers – Art Collaborations – Eye Gazing Workshop – DJ Dance Party – Morning Movement and Body Awareness – Social Circles and much more…

Bring your own T-shirt or clothing to personally screen print the Hostel Logo and leave with a gift to wear and share.

$150 for each individual for the 2 night stay, dinner and brunch, and all activities offered over the weekend. Plus all the other beautiful activities and spaces that the Forest provides. Call to reserve your space!

Friday, July 21st to Sunday, July 23rd: Abby Artemisia of The WANDER School.

Founder of the WANDER (Wild Artemisia Nature Discovery, Empowerment, and Reconnection) School, Botanist, Herbalist, & Professional Forager, Abby Artemisia, lives on the edge of Pisgah National Forest in the Black Mountains of North Carolina. She learned about plants playing in the woods, working on organic farms, an herbal apprenticeship, a bachelor’s degree in Botany, and running her own tea business. She teaches about plant identification, native plants, and working with plants for food and medicine in her Wild Apprenticeship Program and throughout the country. Her mission is to inspire nature reconnection with nature to empower a healthier world with many stewards.

Workshop Offerings

Friday Evening: and meet and greet over a communal dinner. Then Abby will present her Fun(damentals) of Foraging slideshow. She’ll tell some tales of what she’s learned over years of wildcrafting edible and medicinal plants in the fields and forest of Appalachia and the Midwest. Learn from her sometimes harrowing, sometimes rewarding (and lots in between) experiences in the wild. You’ll hear about Abby’s favorite harvesting tools and forageables, tips for safety, and techniques for sustainable harvesting. There will be time afterward for discussion and Q & A.

Saturday Morning: we’ll take a plant walk of this beautiful land. You’ll be amazed at how much free food and herbs surround us everyday! Let’s walk the wild spots and discover them together. Many could be in your own backyard or the woods down the road. Learn tips and tricks for plant identification, safe and ethical harvesting techniques, processing and storage methods, and what to do with your wild bounty. Bring notebooks, cameras, and field guides (optional). Dress for the weather.

During the plant walk, we’ll collect any wild edibles we find for tea time this afternoon and a delicious dinner. Next, it’s time for tea class. There’s nothing more soothing than a cup of tea. Learn how to make your own therapeutic and beverage teas. We’ll talk about the different ways to prepare them, depending on which part of the plant you’re utilizing and what its constituents are. Then we’ll make some tea to enjoy

Saturday Afternoon: we’ll have a cooking class to take away the mystery of what to do with these wild foods. You’ll get to learn, by hands-on experience, how to make multiple dishes. Then comes the best part, indulging in eating our bounty together!

Sunday Morning: we’ll go on another plant walk, this time focusing on wild herbs. We’ll specifically look for herbs that are healing for the skin. Following the plant walk will be herbal oils and salves class. Herbal oils and salves are two ways of preserving herbs for topical use. They can be used for skin irritations, like cuts, burns, and even splinters; or for massage or pain relief, along with many other uses. We’ll discuss which plants are most beneficial in oils and salves, including many local wild plants. You’ll get to watch a demonstration of how an oil is made and then turned into a salve. We’ll talk about the best ways to do this to preserve the plants and keep the oils from going rancid, extending the shelf life of your formula. Then, try some out and take some home, along with plenty of recipes.

Total cost for the retreat, including Friday and Saturday accommodations, Brunch and dinner, and all classes is $200 per participant.

Friday, August 25th to Sunday, August 27th Discovering Dance w/ Marissa Alma Nick

Bio: Marissa Alma Nick is a Miami based dancer/choreographer/director. She is the founder of ‘Alma Dance Theater’; and was the founding director of Tigertail Productions: ‘ScreenDance Miami’, for the festivals first three years. Her immersive choreography exists on stage,in site-specific settings, screen-dances, and conceptual installations. The press has described her choreography as “a vessel meant to free us from our demons”. Most recently, Marissa signed her company to Pentacle Booking Agency in NYC, and is a 2017 recipient of the Knight Arts Award for her piece: “Flowers For Spring”. She was invited to be a featured performer at the grand opening of the 2017 Faena Forum in Miami Beach ; as well as premiere an excerpt of her latest solo work: “Only Child Syndrome”, at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

A native to Miami, Marissa is a high school graduate from New World School of the Arts, received her BFA in Dance Performance from the University of South Florida and participated in the Creative Capital Professional Development Program. Post graduation, she moved to Los Angeles and worked as a freelance dancer (signed to MSA Agency). Hungry to begin her career as a choreographer and establish her own company, she moved back to her hometown to immerse herself into a fresh and burgeoning cultural scene. Since back in Miami, Marissa has established a unique and sot after voice in her community. In addition to creating and producing her own work, she has also worked collaboratively with visual artists: Typo, Magnus Sodamin, Paula Crown, Alejandro Guzman, Christina Petterson, Christin Paige Minnotte, Jeffrey Salter, Amanda Keeley and Lisu Vegas.

Marissa’s choreography has been commissioned by the Alzheimer’s Foundation, the Knight Foundation, Faena Forum, Tigertail Productions, Miami Design District, Art Basel Miami, Filmgate Interactive, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Nova Southeastern University, and the Pioneer Winter Collective. She has been awarded a fellowship through Pioneer Winter Collective’s Grass Stains project; support through Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs, the Miami Light Project, Inkub8, and Miami Dade County Auditorium; and also received an Artist Access award through Tigertail to attend Cinedans in Amsterdam.

Ethnobotanical Intensive with Mycol Stevens & Marc Williams Oct 6th & 7th 2017

Mycol Stevens has a masters in aquatic ecology and has worked as a restoration ecologist/botanist for the Florida Fish and Game across the state of FL since 2004. He has traveled much of Central and South America and Africa, and has learned from some of the best teachers including Frank Cook. Mycol has been teaching ethnobotany and edible mushrooms on the side since 2005. He also lives off-the-grid on an “ecocentric” permaculture homestead where he eats from the wild almost daily and propagates and cultivates his own organic foods. Mycol’s philosophy is to ween off the “system” and to eat your food as medicine. Mycol has been inspired by the Hostel since the mid 90’s and much of its philosophy is reflected in his way of life. Knowing the living world around you, connects you to the living world. Mycol hosts (Willing Workers On Oraganic Farms, (WWOOFers) at his finca. Contact him if you are interested in visiting.

Marc Williams is an ethnobotanist. He has studied plants intensively while learning to use them for food, medicine, biological conservation, and beauty. His training includes a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies concentrating in Sustainable Agriculture from Warren Wilson College and a Master’s degree in Appalachian Studies concentrating in Sustainable Development with a minor in Geography and Planning from Appalachian State University. Marc’s major research in graduate school focused on the most useful plants of Appalachia. However it is clear that a holistic appreciation of nature irrespective of utility will be necessary to create the new paradigm that are current global situation calls for. He has since spent significant time learning the plants of the Western U.S. and tropical regions as well. Marc has spent over a decade working at a multitude of restaurants, various farms, and travels throughout 23 countries in North/Central America and Europe and 49 of the United States of America. In those travels he has visited over 70 of the best botanical gardens in the world. He has taught hundreds of people about the marvelous lives of plants and their respective uses. Marc first came to the Hostel in the Forest in March of 1998 and was immediately transformed through a first time sweat lodge experience with Tom Dennard the hostel founder. Like Mycol many of the principles that make the Hostel in the Forest such a special place have informed his expression of life in this world ever since. Further info can be found at www.botanyeveryday.com where an online botany class in the tradition of Frank Cook is conducted by donation.

Teachings will start Friday evening and end Sunday afternoon.

Workshops will include:
Botany 101 presentation, Wild Foods/Medicines walk, Super Food preparation presentation

Botanical Beach Walk

Fermentation Overview: with Honey Mead Making and sharing

Botanical slide shows: of various parts of the world including Latin America, Africa and Europe.

This is a ver popular class and fills quickly. Total cost for the retreat, including Friday and Saturday accommodations, Brunch and dinner, and all classes is $200 per participant. ,/br>

Preview of Class Offerings: Autumn 2017

September tbd: Women’s Forest Retreat w/ Sage Larder
September 23rd-25th: Mindfulness Retreat w/ Savannah Deluca
October 13-15: Conscious Cooking w/ Chef Kelly Ritter
Autumn 2017: Food is Medicine (Culinary Herbalism) w/ Jovan Sage of Gilliard Farms

Summer Update

Posted May 23rd, 2017

Summer update coming soon!