Smoky Mountain Field School | November 2014 Course Schedule

Smoky Mountain Field School

We are so fortunate that the Tellico Lake Area is just a short drive away from the beautiful Smoky Mountains which offer a world of outdoor activities.  The Smoky Mountain Field School presents high-quality workshops, hikes, and adventures for people who want to enhance their enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of the Smokies and the great outdoors. Click on the course name to be taken to the SMFS website for more information.

Birding in the Smokies

November 1     10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Join two fellow birders for a day of field observation and discovery of common birdlife in the Smokies. As we seek familiar and elusive species we’ll ponder on the best binoculars, field guides and calls, and song CDs as we add to our “Life List.” Spring and fall are great seasons to be out in the cool, crisp air of our southern Appalachians. Leaves are sparse and allow greater opportunity to see these feathered creatures as they make their living in a rich diversity of habitats. Bring your questions and a good sense of humor for a delightful day of learning and enjoyment.

Click here for additional instructions and directions for the fall course.


Elkmont – Transition and Change

November 8     10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Join a retired Smokies ranger and writer on an easy and informative walking tour of one of the most fascinating areas of the Smokies, the Elkmont area. Arguably no other area in the park’s 800 square miles has experienced as much transition from one use to another as Elkmont. The area has changed its status from a wilderness area, to use by prehistoric hunters/gatherers and Caucasian settlers, to a busy lumber and railroad hub with two associated resort communities, to a work center for the CCC, and to the significant changes wrought by the acquisition of lands by Tennessee and the fledging park service when the park was established. The tour will start at the Appalachian Clubhouse and wind through the “ghost town” community of Elkmont.

Click here for additional instructions and directions for the fall course.


Winter Tree Identification

November 8     9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Spend a day in the forest and find out how to identify trees and shrubs in the wintertime. After a brief instructional period in a classroom to cover some basics we’ll take several short walks into the forest at various elevations. There we’ll learn how to use sight, touch, and smell to identify trees without leaves. We’ll also cover the basic ecological requirements of the dominant tree species that make up the forest types of the Smokies. Associating tree species with the elevation and topographic position where they are found greatly aids identification. Come and discover a number of leafless characteristics including buds, bark, flowers, fruit, nuts, and growth patterns that aid in woody plant identification when the leaves are no longer hiding them.

Click here for additional instructions and directions for this course.

Posted: October 25, 2014