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. Please contact your group leader if you need transportation from an airport.
- Guest rooms are available for check-in by 4:00 p.m.
- Guests may check out as early in the morning as they wish. However, we ask that all guests are completely out of their individual rooms no later than 9:30 am the day you are leaving. This allows our housekeeping staff to begin cleaning.
- No late checkouts are available. Unless previously arranged, groups leave the retreat by 12noon and housekeeping staff begin to reset for the next group’s arrival.
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.
- Lost and Found – Located at the front desk. Unclaimed items are donated to a local shelter after 14 days.
- We do not permit smoking or vaping indoors at the retreat. Smoking is permitted outdoors with the exception of on the patio between the Lodges. We ask that guests wishing to smoke be aware of drifting smoke and stay away from locations where smoke can drift in open windows or doors.
- 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 on the lower level of South Lodge. Our Canteen is a combination shop and community area and carries Wildacres gear such as fleece jackets, sweatshirts, t-shirts, mugs, basic toiletries, and more, along with a selection of ice cream. We also have a vending machine with snacks and soda, an ice machine, and our early 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. Internet access is available in our North Lodge lobby, the Auditorium and Library, and in meeting spaces with our North and South Lodges.
- 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 double-occupancy guest rooms as well as several meeting rooms. The Canteen (Wildacres shop) is located in South Lodge, and North Lodge has our spacious upstairs lobby with a fireplace.
- Individual room assignments are arranged by 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, and 10 minutes before each mealtime.
- Our guest rooms can accommodate at least two people and have en suite bathroom facilities with stand-up showers. The rooms are basic and comfortable, and all have windows that open to outside views. Each room has a ceiling fan for cooling in the summer and a baseboard heater to keep our guests toasty in the early spring and late fall. Amenities per room include one double and one single bed OR two twin beds, chairs, a vanity, and a nightstand with a reading lamp. We do not provide kleenex, complimentary toiletries or hair dryers.
- We do not have the space at Wildacres to accommodate personal campers, trailers, or RVs. There are several local campgrounds nearby, and our office attendant can share contact information for those facilities upon request.
- Wildacres provides all bed linens and towels.
- For groups staying a full week, we do provide a midweek towel change.
- Wildacres does not have laundry facilities for guests. There are laundromats 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 on check-in day. Meals have been served family-style but will be served buffet-style in 2022. 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 most 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 snack and soda options in our vending machine, and we stock ice cream treats as well. 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 2022 health and safety procedures with regard to guests and employees at the retreat. We will post updated procedures in March 2023 for the upcoming season.