Founded in 1974, Friends Wilderness Center is a 501c3 non-profit, which serves to hold the door open for all those who seek the restorative power of nature. While arising from and adhering to Quaker practice, Friends Wilderness is an independent organization relying on the support of generous individual donors who share our commitment to extend the gift of our wilderness surroundings freely for the benefit of all.


Our mission is to offer the space and environment for all people to experience the gifts of nature and heal in community, in all its forms.


Our vision is to make Friends Wilderness accessible and welcoming to all to inspire holistic earthcare, affect spiritual and physical renewal, and nurture caring relationships among all people, including those who came before and those who will come after.


  • We respect and appreciate those who cherished this land before us, and we humbly seek to honor their legacy in service to the generations who will follow. We owe particular debt to the Manahoac people, who were associated with this land by early European explorers but who did not survive to be displaced by colonial expansion. 
  • We welcome all people regardless of their spiritual or religious beliefs, skin color, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, socio-economic background, nationality, culture… We strive to provide a sanctuary from discrimination.
  • We are committed to preserving the health of the natural environment entrusted to our care, and we encourage others to share that stewardship responsibility.
  • We are grateful for the gifts of this natural environment and embrace the responsibility to share them, not use them as a commodity for economic benefit.

GLOBal community: china folk house

In 2018, Friends Wilderness enthusiastically welcomed China Folk House Retreat (CFHR) as an integral partner to our land and mission. CFHR creates a place for experiential learning, people-to-people exchange, environmental stewardship, and community engagement through their amazing project to rebuild a traditional farm house saved from inundation from a culturally-Tibetan region of China. Our partnership with CFHR expands our vision of community and holistic earthcare globally.

"People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think what we are seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance with our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That’s what it’s finally all about."

–Joseph Campbell