When Wilderness Wildlife Week was created over 20 years ago, it wasn’t expected to grow into the event that it is today. The first Wilderness Wildlife Week only consisted of 4 programs on a single Saturday.
In 1987, Ken Jenkins, began presenting programs at night in his gallery. Over time, the evening programs turned into three cities gathering together to create the first Wilderness Wildlife Week in 1991. Since, it has been Ken Jenkins mission to create a family friendly event that everyone can enjoy during their stay in the Smoky Mountains.
The 24th annual event will last 8 days, from January 25 to February 1, 2014. The goal of the event is to connect the visitors in the area to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The event has activities for everyone, from kids to adults. Anyone who loves the Smoky Mountains will enjoy exploring nature and the great outdoors during the event.
The event in Pigeon Forge will take place at the LeConte Center each day. Located at 2986 Teaster Lane in Pigeon Forge, near The Island in Pigeon Forge. Visitors who stay with Stony Brook Cabins will appreciate the short drive to and from the event.
With over 50 exhibitors attending the Pigeon Forge event, families will be able to browse through a variety of great booths. With everything from national park information to pioneer toy making, there’s definitely something for everyone at the event.
Expanding Favorite Programs
This year, visitors will notice that some of the favorite programs have been expanded. What were once one-day events are now three-day events. The hands-on photography series will take place for 3 days, January 25-26 and February 1. Other courses and programs will be expanded as an addition to this year’s event.
J. Duay O-Neil is this year’s keynote speaker. He is currently a reporter for The Newport Plain Talk, a family-owned newspaper. He has devoted his life to researching the history of the area and reporting fascinating stories through his newspaper column. He will be speaking on January 25 at 7:45 p.m. and January 27 at 5:30 p.m.
Hikes and Activities
Participants must register to attend hikes throughout the event in Pigeon Forge. The hikes will originate from the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, not the trailhead in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To hike, it is important to pack items like gloves, rain gear and a backpack with necessary items. You can contact the LeConte Center at (865) 446-7000 for more information.
- Information desk will be open from 7 a.m.-9 p.m.
- Vendor and Exhibit Hall open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
When you’re visiting the Smoky Mountains for Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge, make sure to book your stay at one of Stony Brook Lodging’s Gatlinburg cabin rentals. All of our cabins in the Smoky Mountains are perfect for your getaway, fully equipped with everything you need for a relaxing Smoky Mountain retreat. The cabins are also only a short couple of minutes to all of the great hikes and activities in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Give us a call at (800) 633-5652 to speak with our vacation specialists about the best deal on your stay in the Smokies.