Grandfather Mountain Announces 2019 Schedule

Published Friday, January 25, 2019 at 2:56 pm

On June 12, Grandfather Mountain will celebrate the birthdays of all its furry and feathered residents, including Aspen the mountain lion, with a day full of games, contests, crafts, surprises and family fun. Photo courtesy of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

With 2019 underway, Grandfather Mountain’s calendar of events is in peak condition.

With a mission to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain, the nonprofit nature park and its staff are readying for a fun and eventful year.

“2019 is going to be an incredible year on Grandfather Mountain,” said Frank Ruggiero, director of marketing and communications for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the park. “Our schedule is packed with special events, all of them bridging education with outdoor fun, while allowing us to share the wonders of Grandfather Mountain with guests of all ages.”

With a few exceptions where noted, most special events are included with park admission. Additional events will be announced and posted on www.grandfather.com.

Nature Photography Weekend

May 31-June 2

Visit Grandfather Mountain to attend presentations from top nature photographers, while photographing spectacular scenery and native animals before and after regular business hours. Additional cost. Online registration begins April 1 at grandfather.com.

The Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble

June 1-8
1 p.m. (June 1-7) and 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (June 8)

From June 1-7, a series of 20-minute walks will highlight Grandfather Mountain’s rhododendron species and blooms. On June 8, guests can meet the park’s naturalists at the Nature Museum to obtain a map and information on where to find the most beautiful blooms, with special programming throughout the day highlighting this High Country jewel.

Animal Birthday Party

Wednesday, June 12
10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Grandfather Mountain celebrates the birthdays of all the animals in its environmental habitats with games, contests, crafts and surprises. The mountain’s habitat staff has prepared a fun-filled day for guests, as well as programs to celebrate the park’s furry and feathered inhabitants.

eaturing Scottish traditions, music, dancing, athletics, food and more, the annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games return to MacRae Meadows July 11-14. Photo courtesy of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

64th Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

July 11-14

Blaring bagpipes, Scottish athletics, Highland melodies, Celtic cuisine, crafts aplenty and a spectacular highland setting make this colorful celebration of Scottish culture one of the most highly acclaimed games in the country. Additional cost. For more information, visit www.gmhg.org.

Animal Enrichment Day

Wednesday, Aug. 7
10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Enrichment is an integral part of how the mountain cares for its habitat animals every day. An enrichment is a special treat, new toy or even an unfamiliar scent given to the animals to break up their routines and help keep them active and intellectually stimulated. Visitors can enjoy watching enrichment demonstrations, talk directly with keepers and participate in family-oriented games and crafts.

Grandfather Mountain’s annual Nature Photography Weekend features presentations from top nature photographers, while offering the rare opportunity to photograph the mountain’s spectacular scenery and native animals before and after regular business hours. Photo by Hugh Morton | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Grandfather Mountain Amateur & Professional Camera Clinic

Aug. 17-18

Top photographers gather at Grandfather Mountain to present on the nuts and bolts of making good photographs. This event is free to working members of the press, with an additional cost for non-press professionals and amateurs. Online registration begins July 15 at grandfather.com.

Junior Ranger Day

Saturday, Sept. 7
10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Grandfather Mountain’s Junior Ranger Day will celebrate the park’s Junior Ranger program and its esteemed participants. Programs throughout the day will be provided specifically for children ages 5-12 to explore their environment and experience all that Grandfather has to offer.

Grandfather Mountain’s annual Girl Scout Day returns for its 49th year on Sept. 14, featuring scout activities, presentations and a closing ceremony. All Girl Scouts and troop leaders are admitted free with proof of membership, and family members will receive discounted admission. Photo courtesy of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

49th Annual Girl Scout Day

Saturday, Sept. 14
10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Girl Scouts are invited to join the park’s naturalists for a fun-filled learning adventure on Grandfather Mountain. Participants can enjoy special scout activities, presentations and a closing ceremony. Plus, all Girl Scouts and troop leaders are admitted free with proof of membership, and family members will receive discounted admission.

HawkWatch

September

All throughout September, guests are invited to join the mountain’s naturalists as they count and celebrate the annual spectacle of the fall raptor migration. Participants can meet daily at Linville Peak, across the Mile High Swinging Bridge, weather permitting.

Creatures of the Night & Bonfire Delight

Saturday, Sept. 21
6 to 9:30 p.m.

As night falls on Grandfather Mountain, guests can enjoy rare after-dark tours, fireside tales and a chance to meet the park’s nocturnal residents. Additional cost. Limited to 48 participants. Registration opens Aug. 26. at grandfather.com.

The diversity of flora on Grandfather Mountain makes it an idyllic location for fall color display. From Oct. 1-11, guests can enjoy guided hikes to the mountain’s most colorful spots, followed by a celebration of fall color on Oct. 12. Photo by Skip Sickler | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

The Fall Color Ramble

Oct. 1-12
1 p.m. (Oct. 1-11), 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (Oct. 12)

From Oct. 1-11, guests can enjoy 20-minute guided walks that highlight Grandfather Mountain’s fall colors. On Oct. 12, guests can meet the park’s naturalists at the Nature Museum to obtain a map and information on where to find the most beautiful fall color. Plus, special programming throughout the day will allow families to explore the natural phenomenon.

One of Grandfather Mountain’s resident black bears enjoys a special Halloween enrichment during Beary Scary Halloween, Grandfather’s annual Halloween celebration., returning Oct. 26. Photo by Monty Combs | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation 012319_GFM_2019_fall_color_SS: The diversity of flora on Grandfather Mountain makes it an idyllic location for fall color display. From Oct. 1-11, guests can enjoy guided hikes to the mountain’s most colorful spots, followed by a celebration of fall color on Oct. 12. Photo by Skip Sickler | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Beary Scary Halloween

Saturday, Oct. 26
10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Visit Grandfather Mountain for a day of nature programs about animals considered creepy and crawly! This fun-filled celebration includes an opportunity to create special Halloween enrichments for the animals and then trick-or-treat through the animal habitats area. Plus, children in costume are admitted at half-price.

And More!

Grandfather Mountain will add additional events to its lineup throughout the year, including the Grandfather Presents summer evening lecture series, adult field courses, daily programs, night hikes and more. To learn more, visit www.grandfather.com, email [email protected], or call 828-733-2013.

The not-for-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call 800-468-7325, or visit www.grandfather.com to plan a trip.

 

 

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