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Wilderness Wildlife Week 2015: Free Workshops, Guided Hikes, and More

Black bear cub in a tree in the Great Smoky Mountains
December 31, 2014

One of the most beloved Smoky Mountain traditions is returning next year! The 25th annual Wilderness Wildlife Week will bring thousands of visitors to the Smokies for eight days of free workshops, guided hikes, lectures, musical performances, and more. All of the events celebrate the beauty and history of the Great Smoky Mountains and the surrounding region. Timber Tops has put together a convenient guide with everything you need to know about Wilderness Wildlife Week 2015.

Wilderness Wildlife Week Dates for 2015

The 25th annual Wilderness Wildlife Week will be held from January 24 – 31, 2015. Various workshops and hikes will be held each day of the festival starting at 8 a.m., and every night concludes with a keynote program around 7:30 p.m. Guests can participate in as many of the events as they like, as long as there is room and there are no time conflicts.

Wilderness Wildlife Week Location for 2015

All of the programs will be held at the LeConte Center, located at 2986 Teaster Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863. Guided hikes will take place in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but signups are at the LeConte Center.

(See Also: Winter Hiking in the Smoky Mountains – 4 Things You Don’t Want to Forget)

Wilderness Wildlife Week Program Schedule for 2015

With nearly 50 free programs running each day of Wilderness Wildlife Week, it can be hard to choose which ones to attend! To get an idea of what you can expect, check out some of the excellent events we have highlighted below.

Guided Hikes and Hiking Advice

Couple on a winter hike in the Great Smoky Mountains.

The Wilderness Wildlife Week hikes are a great opportunity to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with an expert guide leading the way. Various programs also provide tips and training to prepare guests for hiking on their own. Here are a few of the great events that will be offered next month:

  • Beginning Bird ID – A wonderful introduction to bird watching and identification. (1/24)

  • Section Hiking the Appalachian Trail – Veteran hikers Bill and Sharon Van Horn provide great information about planning an expedition in the Smokies. (1/25)

  • 900 Miles and Then Some: Hiking the Trails of the GSMNP – Judy Bryant answers questions about hiking all of the trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. (1/28)

Kids Activities

Wilderness Wildlife Week features a special KIDS’ TRACK: a series of hands-on programs designed especially for the youngest members of your family. Take a look at a few of our favorite children’s workshops below:

  • Get Your Kids Hiking – Jeff Alt and his family will share techniques and gear that make hiking with children of any age safe and fun. (1/24)

  • Bodacious Cartooning for Kids Workshop – Artist John Rose teaches children eight and older how to draw their very own cartoon characters. (1/25)

  • Look and Touch Wildlife Program – Chris Ogle will introduce children to live reptiles and preserved wildlife specimen. (1/29)

Musical Events

Music is a very important part of Smoky Mountain culture, and guests will have the chance to hear lots of it during Wilderness Wildlife Week! Here are just a few of the musical events planned for the week:

  • Appalachian Folk Hymn Tunes – Timothy Seaman shares the history of Appalachian music and performs his favorite songs for guests. (1/25)

  • Appalachian Music Concert: Carolina Bluegrass Boys and Appalachian Cloggers – This foot stomping music will have guests ready to jump on stage with the cloggers! (1/28)

  • Mountain Music from Today’s Generation – Madalyn Carpenter and friends perform their fresh take on the traditional music of the Smokies. (1/30)

Wilderness Wildlife Week Registration for 2015

Registration for the Wilderness Wildlife Week programs is on a first come, first serve basis. For classes with limited space, there is pre-registration at the LeConte Center the morning of the event. Sign ups for hikes and field trips are held at the LeConte Center in advance at the following times:

  1. Saturday January 24 – sign up for Sunday hikes and field trips at 11:30 a.m. in Greenbrier Hall A.
  2. Saturday January 24 – sign up for Monday hikes and field trips at 6 p.m. in Greenbrier Hall A.
  3. Sunday January 25 – sign up for Tuesday hikes and field trips at 6 p.m. in Greenbrier Hall A.
  4. Monday January 26 – sign up for Wednesday hikes and field trips at 6 p.m. in Greenbrier Hall A.
  5. Tuesday January 27 – sign up for Thursday hikes and field trips at 6 p.m. in Greenbrier Hall A.
  6. Wednesday January 28 – sign up for Friday hikes and field trips at 6 p.m. in Greenbrier Hall A.
  7. Thursday January 29 – sign up for Saturday hikes and field trips at 6 p.m. in Greenbrier Hall A.

Where to Stay Close to the Wilderness Wildlife Week Events

Whitetail deer buck in the Great Smoky Mountains

If you plan on attending Wilderness Wildlife Week 2015, we invite you to stay with us at Timber Tops Luxury Cabin Rentals. With one of the area’s largest collections of cabins in Pigeon Forge, TN, we are guaranteed to have the perfect vacation rental for your stay in the Smokies. Give us a call today to book your winter retreat in East Tennessee!

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