About Us

We offer a service dedicated to facilitating an enhanced connection to our inner and outer natural world through customized guided wilderness experiences in the Midwestern United States and beyond.

The leaders of Natural Step Wilderness Experience:

Elizabeth Olate, MA, MSW, LISW-S, is a psychotherapist and president of the private practice Reflections Counseling Center of Columbus, Inc. Elizabeth has taught classes at the undergraduate and graduate level at The Ohio State University, she has led clinical training workshops as well as intensive therapeutic retreats, facilitated therapeutic groups, and she has engaged in clinical with individuals and families since 2004. In addition to her therapeutic work, Elizabeth has always been an explorer and lover of the wild outdoors. She is certified in Wilderness First Aid and an alum of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School). Elizabeth engages in and leads backpacking, hiking, and camping outings locally and throughout the United States. Elizabeth combines her knowledge of somatic therapeutic practices with her reverence for and connection with the natural world, drawing on nature as a resource for enhancing self-awareness, connection, and awakening.

Russell Gantzer, BA, has a degree in painting and drawing and has been trained as a musician, carpenter, baker, landscape and floral designer, and in plant identification and taxonomy.  Russell is an avid hiker that enjoys engaging in and leading long distance hikes as well as exploratory nature hikes allowing him to experience the macro and micro of natural environments.  Born and raised in the foothills of West Virginia, the outdoors has always played an important part in his life. Russell’s relationship with the natural world has instilled in him a passion for land and water conservation, provided a source of personal and artistic inspiration, and has served as an aid in fostering a greater appreciation and connection with himself and others.