Higher Altitude: New Eco-Retreat Promises Unique Outdoor Experience

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A natural feeling – Guests can participate in a number of different activities at the retreat, including yoga. The new space promises common well-being and group healing.

Until 2015, a 28-acre ranch sat in the shadow of Mount Mitchell, the highest peak in the eastern United States. After its closure, the sprawling property – located halfway between the peak and the town of Burnsville – was loaded with potential, but remained criminally empty. In October 2021, this potential was realized with the opening of Mount Mitchell Eco Retreat on the same 28 acres.

The revitalization of the property was brought about by owners Sean and Heather Busher, who recognized its potential for relaxation and reconnection with the natural world. “Eco” is not only in the name of the retreat, it is linked to its mission and its amenities. Sixteen comfortable rooms and suites are found in four buildings; common spaces, including a community kitchen, dining room and fire pits, allow guests to connect with each other and the world around them. The highly anticipated healing house, which opened in the spring, offers guests the chance to reset with yoga or a massage, or try something unfamiliar like energy healing. An organic food market offers healthy food options that customers can feel good about, with hopes that a food forest and greenhouse will join the campus in the future. There’s no time for phones here — days are full of hiking, meditating, exploring creeks and pastures, stargazing, or taking in the view from a porch laden with rocking chairs.

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