I’m Fru Molnar (she/her) and I’m the founder of Forest Baths (est. 2021), a lifelong student of the trees, and a Certified Forest Therapy Guide with the ANFT (Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides). I’m based in Peekskill, NY (Lenapehoking), where I guide immersive nature therapy experiences throughout forests and parks of the lower Hudson Valley in partnership with all the “more-than-human” beings on this land, in service to nature and for the wellbeing of all. In advocating for mindful nature connection as self-care and community care, I believe that forest bathing is for everybody and that we are all welcome in the arms of mother nature.
As an immigrant who moved around a lot growing up, the two main constants in my life were family and nature. I was lucky enough to have been introduced to the joys of spending time in nature by my parents and grandparents, who took me and my siblings on innumerable camping trips and hiking adventures, both in my home country of Hungary and throughout the U.S.
These experiences were a mix of the awe-inspiring, such as seeing the Grand Canyon, and the seemingly-mundane, such as picking currants from the backyard garden. They instilled in us a great fondness for the endless gifts that nature provides, as well as an understanding of our sense of duty and responsibility as humans to give back to this land in gratitude and appreciation.
In my adulthood, I’ve carried these stories with me and gone on to forge my own personal relationship with the forest through countless miles of trekking, trail exploring, and day-hiking, often accompanied by my rescue dog and personal forest therapy guide, Ginger. Living in New York City and working a screen-heavy and fast-paced job in the tech world made my escapes into nature even more precious.
Eventually, I realized that I was spending every free weekend “getting away” to go hiking in the mountains or walk barefoot on the beach. While New York City will always feel like home, life there wasn’t easy on my mental health, in part due to the scarcity of green spaces and wildlife. So in the summer of 2019, my partner and I relocated to the friendly town of Peekskill, New York (Lenapehoking) and made it the home base of Forest Baths.
My vision for Forest Baths is to provide an inclusive, accessible space for people to cultivate their own authentic relationships with nature through embodiment. I believe the forest has something special to share with each one of us, and that simply by practicing presence together, we have the ability to unlock worlds of mystery, medicine, and magic.
Come and sit. We will hold space for you.