Birds of the Air: A Spiritual Birdwatching Retreat
About This Event
Birds play an inspiring role in God’s creation. A dove carrying a fig branch signaled the end of the Genesis flood. In Psalm 104, “they sing among the branches.” Jesus encourages us to “look at the birds of the air.” Spend a spring weekend watching birds in the Trinity Forest with experts from the Emily Winthrop Miles Miles Wildlife Sanctuary and learning how birding can enrich your spiritual life. This retreat is suitable for all ages.
Note: This retreat is fully booked. We will be offering it again in 2020.
Led by Joseph Rose, executive director of programming, and the Emily Winthrop Miles Audubon Sanctuary.
Venue HighlightsThe renovated retreat center reopened in the fall of 2017. Located on the Housatonic River, adjoining more than seven hundred acres of conservation trust and state forest, the property includes 26 guest rooms, a historic stone chapel, a monastic garden, an orchard and working farm, a labyrinth, a small donkey sanctuary, hiking trails, a community hall, meeting rooms, and quiet spaces for rest and reflection.
AccommodationsWe offer 26 guest rooms at the retreat center, each with a private bathroom, shower, and views of the river, forest, or farm. The guest rooms were renovated in 2017 and come with linens, towels, shampoo, bodywash, handsoap, and heat/air-conditioning. Every room has free wi-fi, but there are no televisions at the retreat center. The closest we get to a TV are the outdoor movies we show under the stars in summer.
- A/C in Rooms
- Free Wifi
- Free Parking
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
Menu/CuisineAt the retreat center, the kitchen is our second chapel and the table is our second alter. It’s where we come together to break bread and be in community. Much of the food prepared by our kitchen staff is farm-to-table, sourced both from the retreat center’s farm and local farms. Guests are invited to get involved in the process, whether it’s through farming, picking fruit from the orchard, saying grace, or helping to clear dishes.
Because the table is at the center of community life, meals are served family-style at distinct times throughout the day. Light snacks are available between meal times.
We work with guests before every visit to accommodate food allergies and other special dietary needs.
Trains to and from Metro North’s Wassaic train station run regularly out of Grand Central Terminal in New York City. The retreat center offers a courtesy shuttle bus for guests who need to be picked up and dropped off at the Wassaic station. Shuttle times vary by season, retreat and train schedule. Typically, the shuttle bus makes two pickup runs during the first night of a retreat and one drop-off on the last day of the retreat. Let us know if you need shuttle service via the booking forms or by phone or email no later than 14 days before your retreat.
If you miss the free shuttle bus or prefer to take a taxi from the Wassaic station, several taxi companies as well as Uber offer service.
Several taxis are usually lined up and waiting with each train arrival. But if you can’t find a taxi, contact one of the following.
Taxi Man: (contact info blocked)
Tony’s Taxi: (contact info blocked)
Emerald Express: (contact info blocked)
Morning Star Cab: (contact info blocked)
Taxi fare is $40 from Wassaic to West Cornwall.
From New York City:
Depending on traffic, driving the 100 miles from NYC to TRC typically takes 2 hours and 20 minutes, with the last part of the journey winding through the beautiful New England hills. You know you’re close when you arrive at the historic West Cornwall covered bridge that takes motorists and bicyclists across the Housatonic River to Lower River Road.
The retreat center is 2 hours 48 minutes (145 miles) via I-84 East and I-90 East southwest of Boston.
If you’re flying into Hartford, the retreat center is about 47 miles (1 hour 15 minutes) to the west. Sorry, but we do not currently operate a shuttle service to Bradley International Airport.
The Trinity Retreat Center offers free parking.