Posted by: noadventure | January 10, 2011

Forest Retreat

Editor’s note: I’m excited to have guest writer Christy Lorio post this week’s NOadventure. You may know her from her fashion blog, SlowSouthernStyle, or from her writing on

Sometimes you just need to do nothing on vacation. As an avid Grand Canyon hiker my idea of a vacation is usually logging 20+ miles of hiking to the bottom with day trips thrown in for good measure. Add to that flying into Phoenix, driving an additional 4 hours (sometimes in snow) to get to the park and you’ve got a lot of logistical stress. What kind of vacation is that? Oh yea, my kind of vacation. I seriously needed a vacation from my normal trip itinerary to where I was guaranteed I’d do absolutely nothing.
My last vacation was a little bit closer to home and is a fairly easy 2.5 hour drive from New Orleans. Forest Retreat delivered what they promised from their website and so much more.
This hidden gem is tucked away in the Homochito National Forest, about a 2.5 hour drive from New Orleans. Owned by Bess Carrick, a documentary maker, the place was built so people can escape city life and relax.
The directions we were given to get there were pretty straight forward until we got closer to our destination. Apparently a lot of people have a hard time, so don’t hesitate to call the contact numbers listed. We were lucky enough to have someone meet us and show us the way otherwise there is one intersection that is in the directions that suggests to turn right. Keep going straight through until you are away from town and you’ll be okay.
Once you arrive at Forest Retreat, you’ll quickly realize that the drive was utterly worth it. There is seriously nothing to do here and that is the whole point;  No TV, no cell phone reception, no nothing.
Our four days and three nights consisted of cooking, reading, playing music, walking along the creek, and not much else. An added bonus is all of the cabins are dog friendly, a big plus in my book. Each is fully furnished  and stocked with everything you need, minus food. I almost had a panic attack when I realized I forgot my wine opener but Bess was thoughtful enough to keep one floating around.
On our first night, the highlight of the evening was hearing a new bird song. I put down the book that I was reading, listened for a bit, then carried on. It was wonderful. It rained that night, and listening to the storm on the tin roof was heavenly. The next night we walked up the hill, turned off the flashlight, and stared up at the stars. The entertainment was far better than anything on TV that evening, not that we had one. In each cabin there are journals, chronicling experiences from other guests. There are tales of couples getting engaged, sisters coming here for a long weekend, and families just seeking fun. Reading these was a serendipitous find and a highlight of the trip.

If you’re looking for a quick getaway or even a few weeks in the woods, Forest Retreat will satisfy your need to get away from it all. All you need to figure out is if you want to play in the creek in the summer or scrounge up wood for the pot-bellied stove in the winter.




  1. Oh no, you gave my secret place away! 😉 I love FR. We go there for a “zen weekend” every now and then. It’s not too hard to find, but do NOT drive past the parking lot they warn you about in the packet! We made the mistake of going down that hill by the cabins, and my truck slid down it and got stuck. Took us hours to get it out 😦

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