- About True North
- Our Mission
- Our Facility
- Our Board
- Financial Help
- Contact Us
- Nearby Recreation
Be a bit pampered.
Reconnect to your spiritual center.
Cozy Hubbardston Farmhouse. Quiet. Peaceful.
Relaxed atmosphere. Affordable rates.
For most women who tend to put their own needs after everyone else’s, a retreat is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
We need to step out of our everyday lives and come to a place where we can feel free to expand our minds, hearts, and spirits and where stillness creates the space for inner knowing, so that we can encounter the Divine within ourselves and each other.
As soon as you arrive at True North Holistic Center, you’ll find yourself slowing down, breathing more deeply, more able to focus, becoming more peaceful away from the stresses of life’s daily demands.
- Assist all women as they journey toward emotional, physical and spiritual wholeness by creating an atmosphere of tranquility, acceptance, honor and love.
- Offer hospitality through individual or group retreats designed to let each woman know she is unique, special and worthy of care.
- Create a nurturing place where all women can gather, be in community, find their voice, express their creativity, and find rest, refreshment and renewal.
- Be a place where women who are seeking to transform and deepen their spiritual lives can participate in transformative programs that teach and model the daily practices of exercise, education, mediation and mindfulness that are vital to the health of the body, mind and spirit.
We seek to do this by…
- Providing retreat space where women can step away from their everyday world for a day or several days by themselves for a time that is self-directed or staff-directed. The time can have as little structure or as much as each guest desires.
- Providing workshops, private sessions, discussion groups, small group retreats and other events, where women can learn to connect with their own spirituality and creativity.
We believe that…
- This is a time in the history of the Creation when all women yearn to connect with their own feminine spirituality. As never before we need to support and encourage each other. We long to open ourselves to the Spiritual Wisdom and Truth we all intuitively possess and share our gifts with each other. Our spiritual work as women in relationship to the Divine Feminine, to humankind, and to the future of the Creation is growing more urgent. We need to come away to a place where we can feel free to expand our minds, hearts, and spirits and where stillness creates the space for inner knowing, so that we can encounter the Divine within ourselves and each other.
- We share aspects of various spiritual paths and practices that are woven into the theme of each workshop, group retreat, or event and are understood within the experience of each woman’s spiritual journey. In our learning about and sharing practices from many diverse religions and cultures, we are dedicated to developing the spiritual qualities of wisdom, enlightenment, and expansion of consciousness.
- The growth and nurture of the Feminine Spirit is instrumental in returning the world to the order and balance intended by our Creator. By opening ourselves to the cosmic universe, and what it has to teach us, we can begin to understand the divine inspiration of living in harmony with the earth and all who live here.
Located in Central Massachusetts, True North Holistic Center is set on more than 3 acres of peaceful gardens, fields and woods surround by conservation land. Nearby Mt. Wachusett, Quabbin Reservoir, and Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary also offer many convenient opportunities to further explore the New England landscape. We are only 40 minutes from Worcester and only 90 minutes from Boston.
Our farmhouse, dating from the 1880′s, can sleep up to 12 persons in its 4 comfy bedrooms. There are two full baths, one upstairs and one downstairs (handicapped accessible). Linens and towels are provided.
During renovations in 2008, a handicapped accessible bath, bedroom and ramp were added to the property. The entire first floor of the house as well as the studio in the barn are wheelchair accessible.
We’ve plenty of gathering space. French doors between the living room and the den allow that space to be used as one large or two small rooms. Off the den is a three-season porch, and a small library area is located upstairs. The barn houses a studio room with space for movement classes.
A full kitchen is available to our guests. You can bring in your own food and cook as you please or you can leave the cooking to us. We can accommodate most dietary preferences and have experience cooking for vegans, vegetarians and those requiring either a dairy-free or gluten-free diet.
Yes, just like at your house, everyone ends up chatting in the kitchen when dinner is being made – even when we’re the ones cooking! – with a cup of fresh coffee in their hand. Make yourself at home but don’t miss sitting down to dinner in our well-appointed dining room, with its Hitchcock dining set. Up to 20 people can dine comfortably.
Located in the big, red barn is a 21′ by 24′ carpeted multi-use space that can be left clear for movement classes or a little dancing or we can bring in tables and chairs and set it up for a seminar, workshop or larger dining event.
Take a walk around our property and you’ll find lovely spots like our Memorial Meditation Garden to reflect and meditate. Pick wildflowers in our grass fields or thread your way through the pines to our stone labyrinth. Stop by the Native American Medicine Wheel on your way back to kick up your heels in the swing.
Contact True North Holistic Center at 978-820-1139 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, sign up for an event or set up your retreat!
Our Board of Directors
MERRY COLE is the Owner and one of the Founders of True North Holistic Center. Beginning as a spiritual seeker and teacher over 40 years ago at Episcopal churches in Holden and Worcester, from there she branched out to leading women’s retreats at her home, as well as hosting a weekly book discussion that explored many aspects of spirituality. Following an experience with Breast Cancer, she felt called to drop out of the family construction business and begin to pursue her passion of creating a sacred space to support women on their spiritual journeys. In 2007, she bought True North Holistic Center and dedicated the space for individual and group women’s retreats, workshops, and classes. She leads workshops, facilitates retreats, and is a Yoga student and a Reiki Master.
JIM BELLINA is currently President & CEO of the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce. In addition to having run his own consulting business, Jim was President of Sinar Bron Imagine, a Swiss-owned photographic equipment company and has extensive operations & product management experience with Johnson & Johnson and Block Drug Company. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy and has a B.S. from Kean College of New Jersey and an MBS from Rutgers University.
ALLYSON CHALAPATAS has 28 years experience in the Hospitality Industry, ranging from Service Personnel to Operations Management and Sales Management and as a Director of Sales for 14 of those 28 years. Allyson’s is involved in the non-profit field as a Director of Sales and Marketing supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is a member of both Westminster and Gardner Community Emergency Response reams and is a Reiki Practitioner.
SHARALYNNE FIFE is one of the original founders of True North Holistic Center. She has been involved in and on the leadership team for women’s retreats for over twenty years. She has worked in the field of education for over fifteen years and is currently a substitute teacher in the Wachusett school district.
MARCIA HOPPER began a career as a high school teacher, with interesting detours along the way, and retired after 10 years as the Executive Director of a non-profit organization. She now works part-time for Dr. Smith’s Intrinsic Healing Center and is interested in spiritual studies and is a student of Qigong, Tai Chi and Reiki.
CAROL RECCHION is self-employed as a Counselor in West Boylston. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings including Employee Assistance Programs, and in palliative care. She holds a Master’s Degree from Duke University (M.Div.) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing (BDIC), UMass Amherst, as well as clinical training through the Pastoral Care and Counseling Institute, and a Clinical Residency specializing in medical crisis, transition management, grief recovery and group therapy.
ANNE RENAUD-JONES is Finance Manager for a small marketing firm. With more than 20 years in print production management, and a small business owner for several years, Anne has a keen eye for long-range planning, including processes and procedures aimed at administrative efficiencies. Her finance experience offers a view from above the daily nitty-gritty, towards the horizon of growth and the expansion of True North Holistic Center.
CHERYL THOMPSON is currently helping run the day-to-day activities of True North Holistic Center. A long-time resident in the Philadelphia area, she moved here in 2010 in order to give Merry assistance with True North, watching Merry’s vision become fulfilled each day while meeting new and exciting women along the way.
True North Holistic Center does not want to turn away anyone from our programs and events due to financial constraints. We do not have unlimited resources, but we do have two ways to assist with costs.
1) THE RUTH SCHOLARSHIP: provides financial resources for women in need to participate in classes, workshops, overnight retreats, and services at True North Holistic Center. Contact True North for details regarding the application process. True North Holistic Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
2) WORK EXCHANGE PROGRAM: There is always work to be done here at True North and we can offer a discount toward a program or retreat.
Please feel free to contact us with your questions, to register for an event or to create your retreat.
Email True North at email@example.com
or use the contact form below.
Directions to True North
When using a GPS unit, Google maps or other services for directions to True North, please avoid Old Colony Rd., as this road is in terrible condition!
~ If you’re coming in on Route 62 West, you’re best to bypass Old Colony Rd. and continue to Ed Clark Rd to Simonds Hill Rd. to Healdville Rd.
From the Northwest on Route 2: (two routes – equal distance/equally scenic)
Take Route 2 E to Route 68 S into the center of Hubbardston. Turn left at the blinking light onto Brigham Street. Turn right onto Healdville Road just before the railroad tracks. True North is the last house on your right.
OR continue through the center of Hubbardston Turn left on to Old Princeton Road at the sign for Wachusett Lumber Company. (There will be a cemetery on your right.) Old Princeton Road bears right. Follow Old Princeton Road until you see a sign on your right for Moosehorn Hill condominiums. At the next intersection, turn left onto Healdville Road. True North is the first house on your left.
From the Northeast on Route 2:
Take Route 2 W to exit 25 (2A W/140 S) toward Westminster/Princeton. Turn right onto 2A/140 S (they merge for a few hundred yards), take your first right following signs to 2A W (East Main St., Westminster). In the center of Westminster, you want to take a diagonal left, across the intersection, so that the red Westminster Cracker building is on your left. (Don’t take the sharp left.) A few feet up that road (South Street) will be the Police station on your right. Stay on South Street as it turns into New Westminster Road and travel about 6 miles or so…. over a causeway between sections of a reservoir, past the Hubbardston town line. Healdville Road will be a left turn right after the Railroad tracks. Follow Healdville to the end. Our driveway is the last on your right.
From the West on the Mass Pike
Take I-90 E (Mass Pike) to Exit 10 in Auburn, take 290 E, through Worcester, to Exit 19/20, to 190 N. Take Exit 2 Ararat Street. And the end of the ramp, turn left onto Ararat Street, follow that to the end, turn left onto Brattle Street for just a few feet, turn right at the Brattle Street Market onto Holden Street. Follow Holden Street to the first light. Turn left onto Shrewsbury Street and go to the first set of lights (Rite Aid Pharmacy and Dunkin Donuts), bear right at the lights. That will put you onto Rt. 122A North, also known as Main Street, Holden. Follow 122A through Holden center and turn right onto Route 68 N. Follow 68 N until you cross Rt. 62. Continue down the hill until you see the sign for Wachusett Lumber on your right with a cemetery on your left. Turn right onto Old Princeton Road. Old Princeton Rd. bears to the right. Follow Old Princeton Rd. until you see Moosehorn Hill condominiums on your right. Turn left at the next intersection onto Healdville Road.
From the East on the Mass Pike
Take I-90 W(Mass Pike), to 495 N, to 290 W, to 140 N, to 62 W. Take 62 W through the center of Princeton, and continue until you cross the Hubbardston town line. Most GPS directions try to take you onto Old Colony Road just before the Hubbardston town line… don’t go that way. It’s a very bad road. After you cross the town line, take your first right onto Ed Clarke Road, bear left onto Simonds Hill Road to the first stop sign. You will see our sign across the intersection. We are the corner property. Cross through the intersection and our driveway is the first one on the left.
From the South:
Take Rt. 84 N or 395 N to 290 E to 190 N. Or take 495 N to 290 W to 190 N. From 190 N, take Exit 5 onto Rt. 140 N, continue to 62 W. At the blinking light, follow 62 W through the center of Princeton (a tricky turn but well marked), continue on 62 W until you cross the Hubbardston town line. (Do NOT take Old Colony Road if your GPS tries to send you that way.) After you cross the Hubbardston town line, take your first right onto Ed Clarke Road, bear left onto Simonds Hill Road to the first stop sign. You will see our sign across the intersection. We are the corner property. Cross through the intersection and our driveway is the first one on the left.
Our guests often enjoy getting outdoors for hiking, kayaking, bird watching, biking, snowshoeing, skiing, and other recreational activities. Here is a partial list of local recreational areas and the links for more detailed information.
Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation:
The forest offers recreational opportunities year round, ranging from mountain biking and swimming in the summer to cross country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. Nature lovers will enjoy the numerous hiking trails, the prolific mountain laurel bloom in late June, early July and the opportunity to observe all kinds of wildlife. Printable PDF Trail Map
This 119 acre park features a 20 acre pond, walking trails, swimming, fishing, picnicking, public programs, and play equipment. Private canoes and non-motorized boats are allowed on the pond. In the winter the trails are open for cross country skiing, ice skating is allowed on the pond and often there is a fire blazing in the visitors center’s fireplace. All activities offered by the park are accessible to people with disabilities.
Lake Dennison is a section of the Army Corps of Engineers Birch Hill Flood Control Project. The DCR, via Otter River State Park staff, manages 4,221 acres of Corp land for recreational use. Located in Winchendon, the park has 150 campsites. There is a swimming beach on Lake Dennison.
Recreational opportunities abound at the reservation including hiking, nature study, hawk watching, picnicking, and skiing. The Reservation offers 17 miles of hiking and walking trails, including 3.9 miles of the Midstate Trail, which runs from Ashburnham to the Rhode Island border.
Rutland State Park is a 300 acre recreation area with developed facilities for fresh water swimming, picnicking and boating. At Whitehall Pond, there is a swimming beach and adjacent picnic area.
Mass Central Rail Trail
This is a work in progress. The entire corridor, when done, will be over 100 miles long making it the longest single rail trail in New England. However, it is not really traversable right now from Northampton to Boston in a safe fashion. Click on this link to go to information about the currently open sections. The corridor has about 25 miles +- that are currently open.
We envision an expanded network of trails and roads for non-motorized recreation and transportation in the towns of Holden, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland, Sterling and West Boylston (in Central Massachusetts, USA). Our largest current project is the Mass Central Rail Trail, of which 10 miles have been completed and 30 miles are under development.
Massachusetts Audubon Society
Twelve miles of trails at Wachusett Meadow include such highlights as a 80-acre beaver pond alive with beaver, mink, otter, wood ducks, and herons.
Located in the Wachusett Mountain highlands, the sanctuary’s 1300 foot summit offers excellent hawk watching in the fall.