Naturalist Programs

naturalist425 Naturalist Programs

Naturalist Programs

Watch a nature program on TV with the sound turned down and you will enjoy the beauty and drama, but turn the sound up and you’ll also be enlightened with lots of interesting details that bring extra meaning and interest to the images you see unfolding on the screen.

So it is when you visit Grandfather Mountain in the company of one of our staff naturalists.  Any time you visit you will enjoy the breathtaking scenery and entertaining animals, but tag along with a staff naturalist and you’ll take away a much greater understanding of what you have seen and a much deeper appreciation of how rare and wonderful this Mountain truly is.

Our Naturalists and Interpretive Rangers offer an array of programs that allow them to share their love and enthusiasm for all things natural with Grandfather Mountain’s guests.  From slide programs on otters and bears to a hands-on show-and-tell with animal skins and deer antlers, from a close-range interaction with a barred owl to guided hikes across Grandfather’s rugged peaks, Grandfather’s naturalists will be happy to tailor any sort of interpretive activity that will make your experience of Grandfather Mountain fun and meaningful.

Many programs are offered on a regular schedule and are included in the cost of admission.  Other programs are available upon request and will require an additional activity fee.  Phone 828-733-4326 for details or email

Naturalists’ 2014 Program Schedule

May 16-18, 2014
Naturalist Weekend
Join us for two days filled with guided hikes and special presentations on the birds, wildflowers and nature of Grandfather Mountain. Included with regular admission.

Daily, June – August
Daily Nature Programs
Check the message boards at the Nature Museum or the Top Shop to see what topic the program of the day will cover! Some of the presentations offered include: nature walks, wildflower walks, history talks, interaction with live owls, talks on forest composition, nature near the Swinging Bridge, and animal workshops on butterflies, salamanders, and each of the animals that reside in Grandfather’s animal habitats. Programs are scheduled for 1 p.m. and will last about 1 hour. Free with park admission.

June 1-16, 2014
The Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble
Join us for special activities with naturalists designed to help you get the most out of the memorable sight of the Catawba rhododendron at Grandfather Mountain. Guided hikes are held at 1 p.m. daily and are free with park admission.

Friday, July 25 – Sunday, July 27, 2014
The Grandfather Campout
A special opportunity to camp in MacRae Meadows and take part in day and night activities led by Grandfather’s naturalists and interpretive rangers.  Additional cost, reservations required.  Online registration begins May 1.  For more information and registration details:  828-733-4326.

Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014
Join us for the 11th annual Kidfest, featuring programs, games, live birds, storytellers, music and fun designed to get kids excited about nature and the North Carolina mountains. 9:00-4:00.  Free with park admission.

Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014
Girl Scout Day
This 44th annual Girl Scout Day includes programs, games, live birds, guided hikes. 10:00-3:30. Girl Scouts admitted free with proof of membership.

Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014
Creatures of the Night & Bonfire Delight
Come for stories told by firelight and rare after-dark tours of the Mountain that include a nocturnal animal prowl. Additional cost. Online registration begins Aug. 28.

Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 4-5, 11-12, 18-19
The Colors of Grandfather
A guided hike to discuss the reasons trees change color in the fall and to identify what trees turn what colors. 1:00 p.m. at the Woods Walk. Free with park admission.

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  • All the nature scenery takes your breath away. Beautiful colors of flowers, sky, mountains, leaves, water fall, sunrise, sunset, music, songs. All are my favorites.

    Elmhurst, NY
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