Naturalist Weekend

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 15-17, 2015

Interpretive Ranger Programs

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.

hawk Naturalist WeekendGrandfather’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 Weekend are included in the price of admission. Those who attend for multiple days should keep their receipt on Saturday and present that for discount admission on Sunday. For details, call 800-468-7325.

2014 Schedule — 2015 Schedule TBA

Click here for the printer-friendly PDF version.

Friday May 16

All Day

 

Spring Bird Count  Hosted by High Country Audubon, participants will be birding at various locations around Grandfather Mountain. Reservations required; please contact Jesse Pope at (828) 733-3224 or naturalist@grandfather.com to participate.
8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Owl Prowl  Join our naturalists for an after-dark search for native owls. Reservations required; 20 people max. Call (828) 733-4326 to participate.
Saturday May 17
9:30 a.m. Wildflower Hike Meet at Profile Trail trailhead on N.C. 105, ¼ mile north of the intersection of N.C. 105 and N.C. 184. Come join us to marvel at all the early spring ephemerals found along the diverse Profile Trail.
11 a.m. Birds of Prey  In a program led by Nina Fischesser, director of the Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute at Lees-McRae College, guests will see live birds of prey, both common and endangered. Participants will learn about their differences and the myths surrounding these birds. This event will be held in the Nature Museum Auditorium.
1 p.m. Native Americans on Grandfather Mountain  Join Appalachian State archaeology student Josh Goodwin to learn about his research on Grandfather Mountain. See local artifacts up close and learn what has been found on Grandfather and in the surrounding area. This event will be held in the Nature Museum Auditorium.
2 p.m. Hike the Ridgeline  Take a hike through our high-elevation spruce-fir forest and explore this rare habitat to learn about the rare and endangered plants and animals that call Grandfather home. This moderately strenuous loop hike will be guided by Chief Interpretive Ranger John Caveny. Reservations required; 10 people max. Call (828) 733-4326 to participate.
3 p.m. Bear Workshop  Join our habitat staff in the Nature Museum Auditorium to learn more about this large mammal that is often misunderstood.
7:30 p.m. Naturalist Night Walk 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 participate.
Sunday May 18
7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Birding on the Profile Trail Meet Education Specialist Mickey Shortt at the Profile Trail trailhead on N.C. 105, ¼ mile north of the intersection of N.C. 105 and N.C. 194.
10 a.m. Forest Expedition (kids’ program) This program is designed for children but all are welcome to join! We will explore the Woods Walk trail in search of evidence of animal activity. The trail will be “spiked” with lots of artifacts to find, and we may even find some real living animals along the way!
11 a.m. Grandfather’s Great Explorers and Naturalists Take a journey through time hiking the Black Rock Trail with Jesse Pope, director of education and natural resources. Look at Grandfather through the eyes of some of the greatest naturalists the world has ever known. This will be a two-hour hike.
12:30 p.m. Tree Facts and Folklore Using taxonomic keys can be frustrating, but with the right skills, they will make tree identification much easier. Join Chief Naturalist Jill Goodwin at the Woods Walk for an easy 0.4-mile walk to discuss trees of Southern Appalachia.
2 p.m. Nature on the Edge Join us for a stroll to Linville Peak to identify plants and animals on these high-elevation rock outcroppings. We will also discuss how these peaks inspired past explorers and the inspiration they provide for us today. Meet at the base of the stairs in the Top Shop parking lot.
3 p.m. Tracks and Signs Being able to correctly identify the tracks and signs animals leave behind is an important skill to have. Join us to search for tracks and signs and use field guides to identify what is found. Meet at the Woods Walk.
4 p.m. Squirrels: The Original Hoarders Join John Caveny, chief interpretive ranger, as he provides some insight on the very common and often overlooked squirrel. Why do they live where they live? What do they eat? Why do they hoard their food? All these questions will be answered and more! Meet at the porch off the Nature Museum.


Location : Grandfather Mountain | Address: 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646 |
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  • I have been going to Grandfather for 39 years now. My Grandfather used to hike on Grandfather before it was an attraction for visitors. He would pick berries to sell so he could buy shoes for himself. We loved the old swinging bridge, but love the new one too. Now that I have my own child, I share the same tradition with him that our family has always participated in...keep up the good work!! Love the experience of Grandfather!

    Lisa
    Lakeland, FL
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