Things to do In Pigeon Forge – Wilderness Wildlife Week

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The Smoky Mountains… they’re kind of a big deal here in our area. They give us land to call home, great heights to journey to, lush green thickets to explore, wildlife to admire and take pictures of, an ecosystem that inspires the very best of us and a lot of science to observe up close and personal. The Smoky Mountains are the lifeblood of Sevier County in East Tennessee and we, therefore, hold one section of time in our calendar year to allow locals and visitors the chance to celebrate our mountains with a purely nature-friendly festivity known as “Wilderness Wildlife Week”.

The big W3, taking place this year between May 9th to the 13th at the LeConte Conference Center, is a long-standing annual tradition in East Tennessee and while some of the events and locations for its holding have changed, the essential mission of the event has not. That mission is to give folks of all ages an intelligent, intimate look at everything that makes up our section of Appalachia – from the big to the microscopically small. This isn’t the kind of celebration with a party atmosphere and lots of sponsors and commercialism, this is the sort of celebration for those who really like to get their fingers in the dirt! This is for the hardcore nature-lover who knows the names and landmarks of the trails in the National Park. This is for those who look forward to sitting in on lectures from special guest speakers and lecturers from the National Park and nature experts specializing in the Smokies.

 

To put it simply, if you love the mountains, Wilderness Wildlife Week is for you!

 

And indeed Wilderness Wildlife Week provides in-depth lectures and guest speakers on the flora and fauna of the Smokies, but there’s so much more than that. There are also quite a lot of outdoor excursions too! Take a look at this list from Pigeonforge.com (hyperlink to http://www.pigeonforge.com/wp-content/uploads/27th-Annual-Wilderness-Wildlife-Week-Class-Schedule.pdf#page=2&zoom=auto,-295,612):

 

Tuesday, May 9 (Sign-ups at 9 AM on Tuesday in Greenbrier Hall A)

11 AM – 3 PM: Bush Beans Bus Tour – Steve Lutes

11:30 AM – 4:30 PM: Andrews Bald: Keith Garnes – 3.5 Miles – Moderate

Noon – 5 PM: Little River/ Cucumber Gap/Jakes Creek – George Owen – 4.5 Miles – Easy/Moderate

 

Thursday, May 11 (Sign-ups at 6 PM on Tuesday in Greenbrier Hall A)

7:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Seven Islands State Park Birding Safari – Keith Watson – 3 Miles – Easy

7:30 AM – 4 PM: Grotto Falls/Brushy Mountain – Wildland Trekking Company – 6.8 Miles – MS

8:30 AM – 4:30 PM: AT/Road Prong – Jeremy Lloyd – 7.2 Miles – Moderate/Strenuous

8:30 AM – 1:30 PM: Photo Safari of the Smokies – Colby McLemore – Easy

8:30 AM – 4 PM: Andrews Bald – George Owen – 6.5 Miles – Moderate/Strenuous

8:30 AM – 4:30 PM: To the Jumpoff – Mark Snyder – 7 Miles – Moderate/Strenuous

11 AM – 4 PM: American Eagle Foundation/Bush Beans/Dolly Bus Trip – Kathy Gwinn

2 PM – 5 PM: History of Pigeon Forge Bus Tour – Ron Rader

7:15 PM – 11 PM: Cades Cove Loop – Mike Meldrum – 2.5 Miles – Easy/Moderate

 

Thursday, May 11 (Sign-ups at 6 PM on Tuesday in Greenbrier Hall A)

7:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Seven Islands State Park Birding Safari – Keith Watson – 3 Miles – Easy

7:30 AM – 4 PM: Grotto Falls/Brushy Mountain – Wildland Trekking Company – 6.8 Miles – MS

8:30 AM – 4:30 PM: AT/Road Prong – Jeremy Lloyd – 7.2 Miles – Moderate/Strenuous

8:30 AM – 1:30 PM: Photo Safari of the Smokies – Colby McLemore – Easy

8:30 AM – 4 PM: Andrews Bald – George Owen – 6.5 Miles – Moderate/Strenuous

8:30 AM – 4:30 PM: To the Jumpoff – Mark Snyder – 7 Miles – Moderate/Strenuous

11 AM – 4 PM: American Eagle Foundation/Bush Beans/Dolly Bus Trip – Kathy Gwinn

2 PM – 5 PM: History of Pigeon Forge Bus Tour – Ron Rader

7:15 PM – 11 PM: Cades Cove Loop – Mike Meldrum – 2.5 Miles – Easy/Moderate

 

Not to mention a Farmer’s Market, workshops, photography exhibit and so. much. MORE!

 

See everything you want to know on this year’s Wilderness Wildlife Week at http://www.pigeonforge.com/great-smoky-mountains-national-park/wilderness-wildlife-week/.