Naturalist Weekend

Join 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.

hawkGrandfather’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.


2015 Schedule

Friday May 15

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 to participate.
2:00 p.m. Bridges in Nature Stroll along the path to the Linn Cove Viaduct to learn about famous bridges in natural sites including the Linn Cove Viaduct. 1 mile round trip. Meet in front of the Viaduct Visitor Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 304).
6:30 p.m. Evening Wildflower Walk Take an evening stroll on the Profile Trail to enjoy and observe the wildflowers along the lower streams and coves on Grandfather Mountain. 2 miles round trip. Meet at the Profile trailhead on NC 105.
Saturday May 16
9:30 a.m. Stories in the Stone Join Appalachian State University Geologist Anthony Love on a walk to explore the geologic past of Grandfather Mountain and the southern Appalachians. 1 hour. Meet at the Black Rock Parking Area on Grandfather Mountain.
11:00 a.m. Woodslore and Wildwoods Wisdom: Stories, Songs, and Lore Celebrating the Appalachian BackcountryDoug Elliott will take you on an unforgettable, multifaceted cultural tour celebrating the Appalachian backcountry. He performs a lively concert of amazing tales, soulful tunes, traditional lore, outrageous personal narratives, and fact stranger than fiction–all flavored with regional dialects, soulful harmonica riffs, and more than a few belly laughs. 1 hour. Meet at the Grandfather Mountain Nature Museum Auditorium.
11:30 a.m. Jr. Ranger Program Kids are invited to learn about Grandfather Mountain’s animals through activities and wildlife viewing. 20 minutes. Meet at the Butterfly Garden on Grandfather Mountain.
1:00 p.m. Guided Nature Walk Join a naturalist on a short walk(less than 1 mile round trip) to enjoy the scenery and understand the stories behind the landscape of Grandfather Mountain. 45 minutes. Meet at the Black Rock Parking Area on Grandfather Mountain
2:00 p.m. Leave No Trace: Presented by Mast General Store
3:00 p.m. Weeds, Woodslore, and Useful Wild Plants Walk with Doug ElliottJoin Doug on a walk focusing on the medicinal, edible, and otherwise useful and interesting wild plants–their botany, natural history, and folklore, as well as their traditional and contemporary uses. We will also pay attention to tracks and signs, as well as the birds, insects, and other critters that texture our outdoor experiences. Space limited, reservations necessary (828) 733-4326. Distance: ½ mile. Meet at the Woods Walk Picnic Area on Grandfather Mountain
8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Owl Prowl Listen for and learn about several owl species that can be found on Grandfather Mountain. Space limited, reservations necessary, 20 people max. (828) 733-4326.
Sunday May 17
7:30 a.m. Spring Songs Go birding by ear and binoculars on this walk in search of spring migrants on the Profile Trail. 2 miles round-trip. Meet at the Profile Trailhead on NC-105
9:45 a.m. Sensory Hike on the Profile Experience the Profile Trail with a ranger-guided walk that focuses on more than what meets the eye.   Participants are encouraged to bring along a notepad or nature journal and something to write with as we stop along the hike and do rubbings of textures, smear soil on pages, or other opportunities to fully take in the array of senses we have. 2 miles round-trip. Meet at the Profile Trailhead on NC-105.
1:30 p.m. Boone Fork Wildflowers Take an opportunity to discover the wildflowers of Grandfather’s eastern slope on a ranger-guided walk from the Boone Fork parking area. 2-3 miles round-trip. Meet at the Boone Fork parking area on the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 299.9).

Download a PDF schedule here.

Location : Grandfather Mountain | Address: 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646 |
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  • Visited today for the first time since I was small. Really enjoyed it! The views were wonderful and can't wait to go back again. A big THANK YOU for the Dollar Days for nearby residents.
    Joyce H.
    Bakersville, NC
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