"Watching sunrises and sunsets and seeing stars and the milky way. Seeing all the animals we saw - fox, eagles, deer, hummingbirds...this experience has reminded me that nature calms me and helps me see things in such a raw, real manner."
The TRUE NORTH TREKS Foglia Foundation WALDEN Institute is a beautiful and spacious retreat facility built into the cliffs of Lake Superior on 127.75 acres of pristine Northern hardwoods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Inhabiting ancient lands once traversed by Ojibwe Indians, this place was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s last apprentice, Herbert Fritz Jr. The home embodies Wright's organic architectural design principles and connects guests to a full sensory experience, including the pounding surf, panoramic views, and spectacular sunsets that bathe a rocky coastline that resembles the Great Lake's version of Big Sur.
The primary function of the TNT WALDEN Institute is to enhance the mission of the True North Treks by offering young adults with cancer and their caregivers an opportunity to become connected again after the disconnecting experience of cancer, however in a residential retreat setting vs. deep in the back-country of Utah or Wyoming. For interested participants who would love to connect with nature, spend time with peers who "get it", and learn and practice meditation and yoga but either don't have time for a week-long trek in the back-country, or who want to use a bathroom and sleep on a bed, this is a great option. Plus, this may sew the seeds of signing up for a longer, more wilderness-based trek in the future (or not).
Walden is the name of the pond where in 1854 the transcendentalist American writer Henry David Thoreau built his cabin and spent two years, two months, and two days reflecting in the woods on simple living, self-discovery, self- reliance, and the relationship between civilization and nature. Beyond this metaphoric association with the importance of getting back to our roots, for us, WALDEN also stands for “Wakeful Awareness in Life, Discovery and Encounters in Nature”, which is at the core of our mission.
No matter what brings you here, we welcome you. We welcome you not only to this awe-inspiring physical space and place, but also to a new way of being, where you may take a break from the noise of your life; where you may take up the practice of single-tasking and just being wherever you are; and where you may eventually come to welcome yourself arriving at your own door. While the WiFi signal isn't great out here in the forest, we can promise that you will find no better connection than right here.