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Well Being Retreat Center

"Where Silence Is Expressed"

Deer Grazing at Well Being Retreat Center
Don Paddling on the Powell River
Clearing and Saging the Labyrinth.jpg
Fire Circle In Twilight.jpg
A walk along the Powell River in Tazewell, TN

Activities at Well Being Retreat Center

Reflections on the Powell River at Well Being Retreat Center

The Well Being Center's meeting room is a large, vaulted, air-conditioned space with views across the Powell River valley. Meals are served from our licensed commercial kitchen and dining room in the same building. There is a huge deck for outside dining. The Meeting Room can seat over 50 people (or up to 18 Yoga mats). There are plenty of comfortable padded chairs, Yoga mats, pillows, blankets, cushions and backjacks. The Meeting Room has wifi, a flat screen wall-mounted TV, audio system, and beautiful Persian carpets. Eleven Cabins & six Cabinettes which can sleep up to 38 people.

Christine with Fire Circle Trail Sign (1).heic

Nature & Forest Therapy Trail

The Fire Circle Trail at Well Being Retreat Center is certified by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT).- the first in Tennessee. The 1/4 mile long trail has signage to invite users to pause and notice various aspects of their immediate environment. Engaging with Nature in this mindful way has been demonstrated to have significant physiological benefits. Each year, ANFT holds Immersion trainings here as part of their Guider certification process. Christine Hoyer (pictured) is an ANFT Certified Guide and leads nature oriented retreats and trainings here at Well Being Retreat Center. More information HERE.

Patty canoeing on the Powell River



The Well Being Retreat Center is nearly surrounded by 2 1/2 miles of the Powell River. The Powell River is one of the two largest free-flowing (un-dammed) rivers in Tennessee. We have 9 kayaks and three canoes that are available for rent for those staying in the cabins for the 2+ mile paddle around the land.The Powell is a Class 1 (easy) river suitable for all skill levels.

Deer posing by the Chickadee Cabin at Well Being Retreat Center

Wildlife Viewing

We don't hunt on the land and we don't allow dogs and cats on the land. We like both dogs and cats, but dogs chase deer and cats are hard on songbirds. So we made a decision when the Retreat Center first moved onto this land, that we wanted the native wildlife here to be able to live without fear of bullets or domestic animals. Now, eight years later, the deer no longer run away in terror and they are often seen grazing in the pastures at dusk, or, like the deer pictured, strolling down the path to one of the cabins. By casual birdwatching, we have identified 59 species of birds on the land. There are beaver, river otter, blue herons and wood ducks in the river. A bald eagle will do an occasional flyby. Sometimes a flock of wild turkeys will visit. And often we are entertained by the raucous laughter of a pileated woodpecker or startled by the pre-historic cry of a blue heron late at night or delighted by a rabbit slowly hopping past you.

Organic Vegetable Garden at Well Being Retreat Center

Fruit & Vegetable Gardening


At Well Being Retreat Center, we tend a one acre vegetable garden and orchard that is maintained organically, that is, no GMO's, no insecticides, herbicides or fungicides.. We have ten raised beds that are mostly used for annual vegetables, but we also have a bed of asparagus and a bed of strawberries. We have sixtky blueberry bushes that are thriving, blackberries, goji berries, and a variety of fruit trees that we planted eight years ago. We have a plant start room where we raise vegetable and flower seeds as well as root cuttings from trees and bushes.

Mama Chicken & some newly hatched chicks at Well Being's garden

Raising Chickens


At Well Being Retreat Center, we keep egg-laying chickens in a portable coop within the fenced one acre vegetable garden to keep them safe from predators. Everyone loves chicken (raccoons, o'possum, weasels, owls, hawks, coyotes, etc.) and keeping them safe can sometimes feel like a full-time job. We feed the chickens organic feed, healthy table scraps, and vegetable overage from the garden. And they of course graze on healthy pasture and whatever bugs they can find. The healthy varied diet is what makes the yolks so bright orange and make the eggs taste, well, like real eggs should taste.

Endangered Species Mussel reintroduction into the Powell River at Well Being Retreat Center Oct 2016

Caring for the River

Well Being Foundation supports the ecological health of the Powell River. Towards this end, we helped to initiate a GIS project with Lincoln Memorial University in nearby Harrogate, TN which investigated key parameters of the river such as concentrations of possible pollutants, water temperature, and the presence of important aquatic food species, also known as bugs. As a result of these studies. US Fish & Wildlife determined that the river was clean enough to justify the reintroduction of endangered species of freshwater mussels. This picture is of such a reintroduction on Well Being's riverfront with attendees from TVA, The Nature Conservancy, Virginia Tech, and the Virginia Deptartment of Fisheries.

Photo of the 2015 Powell River Kayak & Canoe Regatta in Claiborne County TN

The Powell River Kayak & Canoe Regatta

Patty Bottari and Don Oakley, Directors of Well Being Foundation and its two onsite caretakers, are also elected members of the Claiborne County Tourism Commission. Don was the Chairperson of the Commission's Powell River Tourism Committee for six years. The Committee has two tasks: to organize the Powell River Regatta each year and to improve public access onto the Powell River in Tennessee. The Regatta is a 12 mile race every Spring which begins at Well Being Retreat Center. Proceeds from this Claiborne County Chamber event are used for the Powell River Blueway project which locates, maps, improves and informs the public about locations that can be used by the public to get on and off the Powell River. The 6th Annual Powell River Regatta will be held April 29, 2023. More information here.

Contact Well Being Retreat Center: or at 423-626-9000 for more information

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