Joins us for three days filled with guided hikes and special presentations on the birds, wildflowers and nature of Grandfather Mountain. Included with regular admission.
May 16-18, 2014
The Grandfather Mountain Naturalist Weekend is a fascinating collection of programs and guided walks offered to help guests discover more about the diversity of life at Grandfather Mountain.
A thank you from the Education Staff to those who attended the 2013 Naturalist Weekend.
Grandfather’s programs pull together presentations of superior quality because our staff has relationships with the top natural resource professionals in the region. These exceptional teachers and interpreters bring nature alive for all in attendance.
All programs and guided walks offered as part of the Naturalist’s Weekend are included in the price of admission. Those who attend for both days should keep to their receipt on Saturday and present that for discount admission on Sunday. For details, phone 800-468-7325.
2013 Schedule (2014 Schedule TBA)
|7:30 pm||Naturalist Nightwalk Join our naturalists for a walk through the forest without the use of headlamps or flashlights! This walk will open your eyes to the many wonders of the night! Reservations required, please call (828) 733-4326 to reserve your space now!|
|7:00 am||Birding on the Profile Trail! Hike a section beautiful Profile trail looking and listening for many of our spring birds, starts at the Profile Trailhead, with Director of Education of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, Jesse Pope.|
|9:00 am||Wildflower Walk Hike along the Watauga River on the Profile Trail and see, touch and smell many of our diverse spring wildflowers! Join Katie Gray, Chief Naturalist, at the Profile Trailhead just off Hwy 105.|
|11:00 am||Habitat Diversity Travel the mountain to see the different niches there are and learn about life zones, take field samples and discover what zone you are in. This skill can be taken home and applied where ever you may live! Meet Jill Goodwin, Education Specialist and Katie Gray, Chief Naturalist, at the Nature Museum.|
|1:00 pm||Birds of Prey Program led by Nina Fisschessor, Director of the Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute at Lees-McRae College. Guests will see live birds of prey both common and endangered. Learning about their differences and myths surrounding these misunderstood creatures. Program will meet in the Nature Museum Auditorium.|
|1:30 pm||Naturalist 101: The Grinnell Method Jesse Pope will be leading the hike starting at the Black Rock trailhead.|
|2:00 pm||Trees and Shrubs of the Southern Appalachians Join Mickey Shortt Jr., Naturalist at Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, for a moderately strenuous hike which will focus on the native trees and shrubs on Grandfather Mountain and how these plants make this area unique! This hike will begin and end at the Extension Trailhead next to the Black Rock Parking area.|
|3:00 pm||Salamander Workshop Get up close and personal to these commonly unseen critters. Learn where they live, how they breathe and why they are so important to have around! There will be an investigation of which salamanders are in our forests. This workshop is lead by Jill Goodwin, Education Specialist of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, and salamander enthusiast!|
|8:00 pm||Owl Prowl Bring yourself and your family up to Grandfather at night! The Naturalists will shuttle everyone to the Swinging Bridge to watch the sunset and then we’ll play various Owl calls to listen if anyone hoots back, or flies in to investigate! This is an experience you won’t want to miss! Reserve your space today; please call (828) 733-4326!|
|9:00 am||Backcountry Basics As you are exploring nature this program will give you a few handy tips on what to bring along with you! You will learn many basic skills from what to pack for a day hike to camping with only a few essential items. Meet Gabe Taylor, Chief Interpretive Ranger of Grandfather Stewardship Foundation, at the Woods Walk, 0.5 miles up from entrance.|
|10:00 am||Kid’s Clouds! This is a great introduction to the coolness of clouds! Chief Naturalist, Katie Gray, will start off reading “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” by Charles G. Shaw. Then we will look at clouds and talk about our favorite kinds of weather! After making our own clouds and a cloud viewer we will observe different types clouds and discuss how understanding cloud types can give us a clue to what our weather may be in the future!|
|11:00 am||Interpreting the Forest Join Adam Herre, an Interpretive Ranger for Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, to discover and uncover history using clues from the forest. Learn how to read the forest’s story! Meet at the Woods Walk 0.5miles up from the entrance gate on Grandfather Mountain.|
|1:00 pm||History of Nuwati Trail This hike, led by Luke Appling, Grandfather Mountain State Park Ranger, will discuss the cultural history of the Nuwati Trail, this is a moderately strenuous hike that is 2.5 miles round trip, and hikers should bring water. Meet at Boone Fork Parking, milepost 299.9 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.|
|2:00 pm||Bear workshop A workshop focusing on the different bears that are all over the world and then focusing on the Black Bear, how they survive in the wild, and how we take care of them here at Grandfather Mountain, you will get a behind the scenes look at our bears! Program led by Bonnie Clark, the assistant manager of the Animal Habitats.|
|3:00 pm||Naturalist Saunter Take a hike along the Black Rock Trail looking through the lens of the great American naturalist and conservationist, John Muir. Often referred to as the “Father of the National Parks”, Muir visited Roan Mountain and Grandfather Mountain in September, 1898 six years after founding the Sierra Club and five years prior to his historic camping trip with President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903. We will take a close look at nature to uncover things that may have really impressed John Muir. This adventure is led by Jesse Pope, the Director of Education at Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation.|
Click HERE for the printer-friendly PDF version.