The Wildacres Guest Experience
Wildacres Retreat has hosted many retreats, workshops, and conferences over the years. All stays at Wildacres include lodging, delicious meals in our dining hall, use of program facilities, and full access to our extensive hiking trail system. Many of our guests come back to Wildacres year after year, relaxing back into the beauty of the Blue Ridge mountains and the family atmosphere here at our retreat.
Getting to Wildacres
- Driving directions to Wildacres are located here.
- Traveling by air. Charlotte and Asheville airports are the closest air travel options, and there are car rental agencies available in those locations. Wildacres does not provide airport transportation and currently, there is no public transportation to our area. Groups may arrange for van service to and from the Asheville or Charlotte airports. Contact your group leader if you need transportation from an airport.
- Check-in begins at 3 pm unless set later by your group.
- Guests may check out at any point in the morning, however, we ask that all guests are completely out of their rooms no later than 9:30 am. This allows our housekeeping staff to begin cleaning.
- No late checkouts are permitted. Unless previously arranged, groups have left the retreat and staff begin to reset for the next group by 12noon.
Note: Should you arrive a little early, please let us know. You are welcome to enjoy walking around the property until your group is ready to begin check-in.
What to bring / What to expect
- Wildacres does not accept credit cards. However, we do take checks, cash and PayPal.
- The weather can be cool at night anytime during the season. In the spring and the fall it can be quite chilly on a windy day. Bringing layers to accommodate the changes in temperature is a good idea.
- Wildacres is not a “dress up place” so bring casual clothes. Include a jacket, sweater, and comfortable walking shoes. Much of the property is hilly and comfortable shoes will make a difference.
- In light of COVID restrictions, we recommend guests bring their own pillows if at all possible.
- Lost and Found – Located at the front desk. Unclaimed items are donated after 14 days.
- Wildacres has numerous hiking trails both on the main property and throughout the larger property and returning guests tell us their walks around the mountain are something they look forward to each visit. Guests can pick up a trail map at the front desk.
- The Wildacres Canteen is located in the lower level of South Lodge. The canteen is a combination shop and community area and carries Wildacres gear such as fleece jackets, sweatshirts, t-shirts, mugs, and more, along with a selection of snacks and ice cream. There is also a soda machine and morning coffee/tea service is located there as well.
- Wildacres boasts a pottery studio, lapidary facilities, an open floor plan studio (perfect for musicians and performers) as well as an auditorium with a sound system and internet connectivity for distance learners.
- We have a stonework amphitheater with a built-in firepit that groups may access. The amphitheater has a beautiful view of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains, including Mt. Mitchell. Evening campfires are a perfect opportunity for relaxing with friends after dinner. We provide wood and set up the firepit for groups with prior notice.
- Wireless internet service is available on a limited basis. Wildacres is a true retreat, and we discourage the use of electronics as much as possible so that our guests can enjoy the quiet and solitude of the mountains and disconnect from everyday pressures.
- Most cellphones work in the main area of the retreat although some areas have spotty service. In case of emergency, if someone needs to reach you and they are unable to reach you by cellphone, they should call (828) 756-4573, and the staff will get you a message. Please be sure they understand this is only for emergency calls, especially if the calls come in between 8 pm and 8 am.
- Guests stay in our North Lodge, South Lodge or Guest House. The Lodges have guest rooms as well as several meeting rooms. Our Canteen (Wildacres shop) is located in South Lodge, and North Lodge has our spacious upstairs lobby with a fireplace.
- Individual room assignments are the responsibility of each group. It is important that you let your group leader know of any special lodging needs you may have.
- Guest rooms do not have televisions, phones, or alarm clocks. We ring a bell a half hour before breakfast to wake guests, but many people like to bring along an alarm clock.
- Our guest rooms can accommodate at least two people and have en suite bathroom facilities. The rooms are basic but comfortable, and all have windows with outside views. Each room has a ceiling fan for cooling in the summer and a heater to keep our guests toasty in the early spring and late fall. We do not provide kleenex or complimentary toiletries.
- Wildacres provides all bed linens and towels. Some people like to bring an extra towel or two, but it is not necessary.
- For groups staying a full week, we do provide a midweek towel change.
- Wildacres does not offer laundry facilities to guests. There is a laundromat in nearby Spruce Pine and in Marion.
- Three meals a day are provided with your full-day lodging. Breakfast is at 8:00 am, lunch at 12;30pm and dinner is generally 6:00 pm, although some groups request 6:30 pm. Meals have been served family-style but will be served cafeteria-style for 2021. Our food service staff provides vegetarian alternatives for each meal and can accommodate many special dietary needs. Please let your group leader know of any dietary needs you have, and our food service staff will reach out if they need clarification. We do not serve pork or shellfish at the retreat, and our cooks do not use MSG in any of our food.
- While we can accommodate many special dietary needs, we cannot necessarily meet all diet preferences so you may need to bring some things with you.
- While alcohol is not available for sale at Wildacres, guests are permitted to bring their own. Several nearby stores sell beer and wine, and there are ABC (liquor) stores in Spruce Pine and Marion.
- Our Wildacres store carries some snack and soda options. There are several stores in nearby Spruce Pine and Marion if you want a wider selection.
Guests and Residents are not permitted to bring pets. Trained service dogs are welcome at Wildacres Retreat with prior notice/documentation.
- For more information on your group’s program please contact your group leader. While we (Wildacres) can answer questions about our facilities and the local area, your group leader will be your contact person for all program and lodging details.
- We are often asked if a spouse may come along and not participate in the program. Some groups allow this if there is room available, but it works better if guests are participating in programming. You will need to check with your group leader on your group’s policy.
Please refer to our Wildacres Commitment to Care page for information about our health and safety procedures with regard to guests and employees at the retreat.