Wilderness Wildlife Week in the Smoky Mountains
By Bennie McCann © 2009, All Rights Reserved

If you look at statistics from years past, January is not traditionally a month when people travel. After having spent a great deal of money during the preceding months, most folks mistakenly believe they can't afford a getaway. When you visit the Smoky Mountains this January, however, you’re headed for a great time that's extremely affordable.

It’s called Wilderness Wildlife Week and for twenty years people from across the country have headed to Pigeon Forge in the Smoky Mountains to take part. Over 100 experts offer more than 175 seminars and hands-on workshops pertaining to plant and animal life, Smoky Mountains history, photography, outdoor activities and more. The best part is that these activities are not only informative, they’re completely free. Take a look at some of the classes that will be offered.

Professional Photography Classes

If you like to shoot, photographs that is, there’s plenty to keep you busy. Classes will be taught on taking pictures outdoors, including macro (close up) photography. In addition, you can learn about building web pages for photographers. Where else can you find this kind of instruction and not pay a cent?

Wilderness Survival Seminars

Numerous classes are available for those who like to camp, hike and fish. Learn to interpret the signs of changing weather so you can avoid being caught outside unprepared. Your chances of getting lost will quickly diminish when you listen to experts discuss the proper ways to use a map and compass. Other topics include visual tracking, unique camping tricks and fishing in the Smokies.

History and Music

History buffs will want to attend lectures on the Civil War in the Smokies. You can also hear stories about Native Americans in this area as well as the early settlers of Pigeon Forge. These mountains have lots of stories to tell.

Music has always been an important part of the Smoky Mountains.; Look for classes on mountain music, gospel music and storytelling that are native to this area. You can also get instruction on playing the acoustic guitar and banjo. Whether you opt to attend clogging classes or concerts by local musicians, get ready to move your feet.

For the Kids

This event sounds great for adults but what about the kids? There’s plenty to keep them entertained as well. Start with the Animal Olympics where they will compare human senses to the senses of wild animals. For the budding musicians, there’s a hands-on class about mountain music and instruments designed just for kids. Children will also get to see live animals and look at hidden treasures from around the world.

Guided Hikes & Tours

Are you the type that would rather be doing something outside than learning about it inside? With more than 50 guided walking tours and hikes categorized from easy to strenuous and ranging from one to 13 miles, there’s something for every interest and fitness level. What’s more, you can’t find better scenery than the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With its breathtaking waterfalls, mountains, plants and wildlife, you’ll find the perfect combination of beauty and exercise.

Log Cabin Bargains

Concerned about the cost of lodging? Don't be! Many log cabin rentals in the Smokies cost less than hotel rooms and offer more space and better centralized locations.

Don’t spend this January stuck at home. Wilderness Wildlife Week is an inexpensive way to learn about one of the most beautiful areas of our country. Rent a cabin and enjoy an extremely affordable - and well-deserved - break after all the holiday hustle and bustle.

Bennie McCann is Reservations Manager of Volunteer Cabin Rentals specializing in rental cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN. Click here to search for a cabin or visit the main website to book cabins for weddings, vacations, reunions and other special events.