Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on January 11, 2022
First, we'd like to offer an apology for a misstatement in one of our recent Facebook posts. We had mentioned that this year's Wilderness Wildlife Week-one of the Smokies' most popular annual events-was taking place exclusively online this year. That's not true. Wilderness Wildlife Week is once again being presented as an in-person event after going totally virtual for 2021. However, because of the popularity of last year's online format, there are still some virtual components of this year's edition. This week, we'll be filling you in on the details of what to expect.
The 2022 Wilderness Wildlife Week takes place January 25 through 29 and is based at the Ramsey Hotel and Convention Center in Pigeon Forge. It's a weeklong celebration of the rich history and natural diversity of the Great Smoky Mountains and the larger Appalachian region. From educational programs for kids to guided hikes into the mountains, WWW has something for all ages and levels of interest.
“We're thrilled to be back together in person this year for Wilderness Wildlife Week,” says Pigeon Forge Executive Director of Tourism Leon Downey. “After the success of last year's virtual event, we're including some online options in the weeks leading up to this year's event.”
It was those online options that we mentioned in our recent Facebook post. The series of sessions is called Virtual Wildlife Wednesdays and is scheduled for every Wednesday this month. The remaining sessions take place January 12, 19 and 26. These free videos run anywhere from a half-hour to an hour in length and are led by popular WWW speakers. They can be viewed on the event's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsUxAoTfH59zbcAWy0nRvkLlQ2WmxrDse
As for the in-person programming, WWW will, as always, include multiple days of walks, talks and workshops. Wildlife experts from all over the country will be on hand to discuss the area's many natural features, creatures and cultures and do their best to answer your questions. Along the way, the many different sessions will celebrate the abundance and variety of wildlife, plants, trees and wildflowers as well as the history of the national park.
The guided hikes range in difficulty from easy to challenging. Examples include excursions to Laurel Falls, Huskey Gap, the John Oliver Cabin in Cades Cove, the Walker Sisters cabin and Alum Cave, just to mention a few. The different classes are geared toward everyone from beginners to advanced students in each respective topic. All seminars, demonstrations, guided hikes, panel discussions and workshops are free and open to the public and are designed to appeal to a wide range of ages.
Although there is no charge for the different events, participants are asked to pre-register for the hikes and limited classes at 9 a.m. at the venue's information desk on the morning of that particular activity. You can only register for that day's classes and outings. If a session is full, you may sign up as an alternate in case someone is a no-show.
Wilderness Wildlife Week will also have vendor booths in the main exhibit hall at the Ramsey Hotel and Convention Center. Visitors can browse stalls featuring photography, art, handmade goods and much more. There's also the annual Smokies Through The Lenses photography contest for those who want to put their cameras to work.
We highly recommend WWW, because it's a great way to experience the Smokies in winter and get a taste of the great outdoors while our ziplines in the Smoky Mountains are on hiatus for the season.