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IMS's Retreat Center and Forest Refuge facilities are both located in central Massachusetts, a little over 2 miles north of the town of Barre. This is about 50 minutes (by car) west of Worcester, MA, 2 hours west of Boston and 3.5–4.5 hours north-east of New York City. There is no public transportation service directly to Barre.
The Retreat Center and the Forest Refuge are in different locations on IMS's property, about 0.9 miles apart via road.
1230 Pleasant St, Barre MA 01005
97 Lockwood Rd, Barre MA 01005
For a Retreat Center course, please arrive between 3:00–5:00pm on the opening day. For a retreat at the Forest Refuge, please arrive between 2:00–5:00pm.
This is a wonderful way to connect with fellow IMS retreatants while also saving money and lessening the impact on environmental resources. If you can offer a ride to or from IMS, or are seeking a ride, please visit our Ride share page, available to anyone confirmed for an IMS or BCBS retreat. You are welcome to preview rides needed or offered. However, if you'd like to post a ride, you will need a password. Please call our office for this at 978-355-4378, or check your registration materials.
The Ride share can also be used to coordinate group van sharing arrangements with the van and limo services shown below. This can significantly reduce the cost for each passenger.
Van sharing must be organized by retreatants before contacting a van service. To do this, go to the Ride Share, where you can directly contact others who’ve posted that they need a ride on the same day as you. Or, post your willingness to set up a shared van, so that others can get in touch with you.
Once you’ve assembled your group, call the van service. Let them know that you represent several people, all going to or from the same place. (You'll need to explain that the Retreat Center, the Forest Refuge and BCBS are all basically the same place, if you have fellow travelers heading to or leaving from these different centers.) Confirm the fee with the van company, and then divide the cost among the members of the group.
Major airlines fly into Boston's Logan International Airport, the most convenient location for onward transportation to IMS.
If you would like to share a van service to IMS with other retreat participants, you can coordinate this on our Ride share first. Then book a service at a group rate to decrease costs.
Worcester Airport Limousine provides van and limo service to IMS. Please check online or call 800-660-0992 for rates and information. Rates vary according to the number of passengers and are cheaper when booked online than by phone. Remember to mention that you are an IMS visitor, as our retreatants get a small discount.
Worcester Airport Limousine vans can hold up to ten people. The cost between IMS/BCBS and Logan (as of March 2017) is around $180, including gratuity. Private cars holding a maximum of three people are also around $180, and individuals can ride in a shared public van for around $77 per person.
Knights Airport Limousine Service provides a similar service to IMS. (Note: If you are coming to the Forest Refuge, for example, and sharing a van with someone traveling to the Retreat Center, make sure Knights knows that you are both coming simply to IMS. Even though each location technically has a different street address, you should be charged a shared rate.) Knights also offers a discount for AAA members and senior citizens. Call 800-822-5456 or book online.
Take a bus or train to Worcester, MA with any of the following services:
Then take a taxi to IMS with Worcester Yellow Cab. They provide a 24-hour service from Worcester to IMS. Call them at 508-754-3211.
Take Route 122 north to Barre (approximately 22 miles). Then see "From Barre Town Commons" below for directions.
Take Route 2 west to Gardner (exit 22). At traffic circle, take Route 68 south to Route 62 (approximately 9 miles). Then take Route 62 west to Barre (approximately 7 miles). Then see "From Barre Town Commons" below for directions.
Take I-90 (Mass Pike) to Auburn (exit 10). Take Route 12 south, then Route 20 west, then Route 56 north. Turn off at Route 122 north (left) to Barre. Then see "From Barre Town Commons" below for directions.
From New York / western Massachusetts
Take I-91 to I-90 (Mass Pike) east to Palmer (exit 8). Take Route 32 north to Barre (approximately 25 miles). Then see "From Barre Town Commons" below for directions.
From Vermont and northwestern Massachusetts
Take Route 2 east (exit 27 off I-91) to Route 122 south (exit 15). Follow 122 south to Barre Center (about 18 miles). As you approach the Barre Town Commons, turn left onto Pleasant Street where Route 122 makes a sharp right. Don't take this right turn. Then see "From Barre Town Commons" below for directions.
From Barre Town Commons to the Retreat Center (located at 1230 Pleasant Street)
Follow Route 122/32 north through the Barre town commons and past Barre Library on your left. Just after this, continue straight onto Pleasant Street. You will be leaving Route 122/32 at this point – it bears sharply to the left at a sign saying "Petersham/Athol." Proceed 2.2 miles along Pleasant Street. The IMS Retreat Center is on your right – a large, red brick building with white columns. Please park in the lot on the far (north) side of the building.
From Barre Town Commons to the Forest Refuge (located at 97 Lockwood Road)
Follow Route 122/32 north through the Barre town commons and past Barre Library on your left. Just after this, continue straight onto Pleasant Street. You will be leaving Route 122/32 at this point – it bears sharply to the left at a sign saying "Petersham/Athol." Proceed 2 miles along Pleasant Street until you reach Lockwood Road on the right. You will see a large stone on the corner of this street with the letters 'BCBS' engraved on it. (The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies is at the end of Lockwood Road.)
Turn right at Lockwood Road, and then take your first left at the sign for the Forest Refuge. Proceed up the hill. Take the first right at the top of the hill and park outside the Administration building where you can unload your luggage and register, or find your welcome packet and room assignment. Once unloaded, please park your car in the designated retreatant parking area.
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