Kids Meet Owls, Bears, Possums and more at Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge. This event is free and open to the public.
Pigeon Forge, TN. hosts an annual event called Wilderness Wildlife Week with educational programs designed specifically for the youngsters and guided hikes into the Great Smoky Mountains for the more adventurous folks.
The entirety of Wilderness Wildlife Week is a weeklong extravaganza of seminars, workshops, photography classes, hikes, owl prowls and even musical performances.
“It’s exciting to look at it by the numbers,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism, which presents Wilderness Wildlife Week free of charge. Last year, guests came from 28 states and Canada.
Wilderness Wildlife Week, begun in 1990 as a salute to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is a major part of the four-month-long Pigeon Forge Winterfest season. The Southeast Tourism Society named Wilderness Wildlife Week one of its Top 20 Events in the Southeast for May 2018. Wilderness Wildlife Week also claimed a Gold Kaleidoscope Award—top honors—in the 2018 Southeast Festival and Events Association’s Best Event Program category.
More than 150 experts – nature photographers, biologists, raptor rehabilitators, social historians, musicians and just plain folks who grew up in the Smokies – donate their time to lead Wilderness Wildlife Week programs about natural history, wildlife, outdoor recreation, nature photography, conservation efforts and cultural history.
Among the topics: bears in the Smokies, the reintroduction of elk to the national park, the Smokies’ logging history, possums, bluebirds, trout fishing, bald eagles, the Civil War in the mountains, fire towers, beginner backpacking, how to raise butterflies and how to play the dulcimer.
“The week is extremely flexible. You can come just for one program, for one day or for the whole week,” Downey said.
Wilderness Wildlife Week details are at https://www.mypigeonforge.com/event/wilderness-wildlife-week