How would you like a behind the scenes look at spring in the Smokies? This April and May, naturalist Jamie Matzko and biologist Keith Watson will lead free guided tours of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You haven’t truly seen the national park, until you’ve visited it with two wildlife experts! Read on to find out everything you need to know about this very special Gatlinburg event.
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Jamie Matzko’s Nature Hikes
In April, Jamie Matzko will lead a series of hikes through some of the most scenic areas in the national park. The wildflowers will be in season, so the Smokies will be awash with a fantastic display of colors. During this tour, you will visit a variety of habitats including a cove hardwood forest, which are unique to the Appalachian Mountains. Bring your binoculars, because Jamie will teach guests some basic bird watching techniques!
Jamie’s hikes will be offered on April 7, 14, and 21. The tours will leave from the Sugarlands Visitor Center at 3:00 p.m. and should last around 90 minutes.
Keith Watson’s Bird Watching Hikes
In May, Keith Watson will offer three great bird watching tours in the national park. As a former migratory bird biologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Keith knows everything there is to know about songbirds in the Smokies. By the end of one of his tours, you’ll be a pro at identifying birds by their appearance and sound. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars!
Keith’s tours will last about two hours and are schedule for the following dates:
- May 6 starting at 8:30 a.m. leaving from the Sugarlands Visitor Center
- May 13 starting at 9:00 a.m. leaving from Newfound Gap
- May 20 starting at 8:30 a.m. leaving from Rainbow Falls Trailhead
To register for this Gatlinburg event, give Jennie from the Gatlinburg Special Events Department a call at 865-436-0505.
Where to Stay
Our hotel in Gatlinburg is just minutes away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! With private balconies, high speed wireless internet, and a heated pool, River Edge Motor Lodge has everything you need for an unforgettable vacation. Visit our Rooms page to learn about all of our incredible amenities, or give us a call at 1-877-333-5510.