The Clearing

Fgallery1-1The Clearing is a meditative retreat center in a peaceful, natural forest setting located within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Charlottesville, Virginia. The Clearing is under the care of Richmond Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), used often by the Friends community, and also made available to like-minded groups and individuals for meetings, retreats, family reunions, educational programs, workshops and youth events.

The 75 acres are mostly wooded except for the spacious grassy clearing from which the site takes its name.  A small creek meanders through the woods. The gravel road and loop trail through the woods can accommodate bicycles. Adjacent to the Amelia Wildlife Management Area and close to Bicycle Route 1 and the Appomattox River, the Clearing has nature at its heart.

Facilities at the Clearing include:

Lodge sideThe main lodge has (1) a roughly 700 sq. ft. Community Gathering Room, with a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows throughout.  This a beautiful open space, with rollaway tables and chairs, which can comfortably be used by as many as 60 people;  (2) a complete kitchen with two sinks, two refrigerators, with plenty of storage space, all well stocked with dinnerware and cookware; (3) a small meeting room with a wood burning stove; and (4) two large bathrooms each with showers.  The lodge has a large front porch with an overhanging roof as well as a ramp for handicap access.  The entire lodge has air conditioning and heat throughout!

Cabin inside_1The large sleeping cabin is a wonderful place to sleep year ’round. There is a screened changing room for privacy. Although the sleeping cabin does not have electricity, it has a high ceiling lighted by the clerestory as well as by the large windows all around.   The sleeping cabin has six two-person bunks and six cots.  There’s also a small sleeping cabin nearby with three beds.

Fgallery1-4The pavilion is about 100 yards down a gravel walking path.  The pavilion has six full-size picnic tables with benches. There is a large stone fireplace for cool evenings. There are cabinets on either side of the fireplace for board games and supplies.  The pavilion is covered with a tin roof and is a delightful refuge in a summer rainstorm.

The “Clearing” that gave the retreat its name is a large grassy area beside the Pavilion, perfect for volleyball, capture the flag, frisbee or touch football. There is a sandbox for tots and the entire field can be watched from the benches and chairs in the covered pavilion.

The Clearing also has 20 cleared and marked campsites, an Adirondack shelter, two privies, and a rough path that circles the property.

juncoSince 1983, scores of Quaker and like-minded groups have benefited from this unique spiritual resource.   Follow this link for information on rental.   Quakers or like-minded groups interested in using the Clearing for retreats, meetings, workshops, or other special programs are invited to contact:  Janett Forte at 804-229-2139  or email  clearinguse@richmondfriendsmeeting.org .