Naturalist programs

naturalist program

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.

The Stewardship Foundation’s naturalists, animal keepers 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 are happy to tailor any sort of interpretive activity that can make guests’ 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 on request and will require an additional activity fee. Phone 828-733-4326 for details or email

2016 Naturalists’ Program Schedule

Apr 01 – Oct 31 
Daily Programs
Make a plan now to enjoy one of our special “Daily Events” during your visit to Grandfather Mountain! The vast majority of our events are included with your park admission fee, but some events which require a small fee to participate to ensure you receive expert guidance and knowledge from specially trained individuals.

May 13 – May 15
Naturalist Weekend
Guided hikes and special presentations on the birds, wildflowers and nature of Grandfather Mountain. Included with regular admission.

Jun 01 – Jun 12
The Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble
Our staff naturalists can’t wait to share their excitement for the showy rose-lavender Catawba Rhododendron that blooms its way up Grandfather’s slopes throughout the month of June. Join us for special programs designed to help you get the most out of this memorable sight.

Jun 15
Animal Birthday Party
Grandfather Mountain celebrates the birthdays of all the animals in the park with games, contests, crafts and surprises. Included with park admission. For more information, call (828) 733-4326, or email

Sep 10
A day designed to get kids excited about the nature and culture of the North Carolina Mountains through fun and entertaining activities.  Guided hikes, games, storytellers, music and fun. Included with park admission.

Sep 17
42rd annual Girl Scout Day
All Girl Scouts and troop leaders are admitted free with proof of membership. Discount admission for other family members. Staff naturalists provide free nature programs throughout the day.  800-468-7325.

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