Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wow Wilderness Wildlife Week - Pigeon Forge Jan 9-16,2010


Pigeon Forge event highlights Great Smoky Mountains National Park

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. – After the excitement of December’s holidays, you need an antidote to the inevitable winter blahs, and Pigeon Forge has the answer. It is Wilderness Wildlife Week, Pigeon Forge’s annual tribute to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Dates are Jan. 9-16, 2010, for the eight-day extravaganza of seminars, workshops, photography classes, hikes and excursions that relate to the park and other outdoor topics. This is Wilderness Wildlife Week’s 20th year.

More than 150 experts—nature photographers, biologists, raptor rehabilitators, social historians and just plain folks who grew up in the Smokies—donate their time to present daily programs and a range of outdoor activities.

There are more than 230 programs and activities. Program topics vary daily, and admission is free to all activities. Topics include bears in the Smokies, the elk reintroduction project, the Smokies’ logging history, fire towers in the Smokies, close-up photography, trout fishing, fly-casting and birding by ear. Several programs are designed especially for children.

Almost 60 hikes and excursions into the national park complement the indoor programs. In 2009, more than 1,000 hikers from 18 states logged a cumulative 4,656 miles.

The week is extremely flexible. You can attend one lecture or take one hike, or you can participate day after day,” said Leon Downey of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “It’s a great way to introduce people to the outdoors.”

Wilderness Wildlife Week began 19 years ago as a half-day program on a January Saturday. January hasn’t been the same since then in Pigeon Forge. The Southeast Tourism Society has chosen it 10 times as a Top 20 Event in the Southeast.

Wilderness Wildlife Week information, including a full list of programs and hikes, is available online at MyPigeonForge.com/wildlife or by calling toll-free to 1-800-WINTERFEST. #