Mary Ann O’Gorman enjoys her quiet time surrounded by nature. Twisted Run Retreat is where she shares that opportunity with others. “It brings me a great deal of pleasure to share what I enjoy – a place to reconnect.”
That quiet place is a 15-acre tract of forests along the banks of Bluff Creek near Vancleave, where a couple of small cabins and a slew of peaceful places provide opportunities to contemplate and create. Key audiences for these experiences include artists, writers, and musicians who can nourish their crafts along the banks of the creek, the forest trails, or sitting beneath the majestic Atlantic White Cedars.
Mary Ann launched her dream of creating this quiet space 4 1/2 years ago when she purchased the property and began to envision how she wanted to make it all work. A certified yoga instructor, she began with what she knows well as a means of contemplation and introspection, working in a small space of the main house. In 2020, Twisted Run expanded to include a large screen pavilion where yoga and other programs can benefit from the more direct connection to nature.
Two new small cabins replaced a single cabin lost to fire, which now provides opportunities for extended stays. A larger older cabin, with a wraparound screened porch, serves larger groups. Visitors that care to pitch a tent are also encouraged, providing yet another way to embrace nature. All in all, Mary Ann sees Twisted Run as a place that provides a bit of wildness for visitors, but not too wild.
Mary Ann is also committed to operating the retreat in an environmentally friendly way that provides a healthy place for guests while keeping the grounds healthy. She practices composting, proper and minimal uses of chemicals across the landscape, and the use of native plants to support wildlife. Walkways are permeable and the water and sewage systems are up to date to provide a healthy environment for her and her guests.
All of these efforts and more allowed Twisted Run to become one of several certified Gulf Coast Outpost facilities in Jackson County. Promoted through the Jackson County Recreation Department and sponsored by the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Program at the MS Department of Marine Resources, this program promotes small, nature-based businesses that practice what they preach. For information about the outpost program, click here.
All in all, Mary Ann has found a place where she can share her passion for creative aspirations and enjoy what it brings for her guests. She is a retired high school English teacher, who studied at Fordham and Rutgers universities and the University of the South at Sewanee. She is also a graduate of the Kripalu Yoga Center for Yoga and Health. For more information about Twisted Run Retreat, click here.