At the edge of the Smoky Mountains, high up in Santeetlah Gap at an elevation of about 2,900 feet in the Nantahala National Forest, nestles the rustic and picturesque Snowbird Mountain Lodge. From the lodge there is an ever-changing panoramic view of the Snowbird Mountain range, Lake Santeetlah, and the homes and fields of the Snowbird Indians in the valley below. Two miles from the lodge is the 3,800-acre Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, a wonderland of centuries-old hemlocks and tulip poplars, basswoods, beeches, oaks and flowering dogwoods, mosses, ferns and wildflowers -- a remnant of America's virgin wilderness and a fitting memorial to the poet who penned "Trees." During early October, the oranges and bronzes will be starting to cloak the mountains and the fall migration of many species of birds will be well under way. Join us on our fall sojourn in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina.
These are just some of the Wildlife seen and heard on past Wildlife Weeks
Broad-winged Hawk, Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Blue-headed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Golden-winged Warbler, Northern Parula, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Black-and-White Warbler, American Redstart, Worm-eating Warbler, Ovenbird, Hooded Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Northern Cardinal, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Eastern Towhee, Dark-eyed Junco, American Goldfinch, and many more.
Wildlife will include: White-tailed Deer, Groundhog, Gray Squirrel, several species of bats, salamanders, Monarch butterfly Migration and much more
Dates: Emilie has 4 days at the lodge this year, but you can stay for as long as you like, pending availability. Be advised this is a very popular time so rooms can fill up fast!
Directions: Directions are on the Snowbird Mountain Lodge website: snowbirdmountainlodge.com
Birding Plan: We will enjoy visiting some and perhaps all of the following locations - not necessarily in this order: Trails around Snowbird Mountain Lodge, Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, Cherohala Skyway, Welch Farm, Stecoah Gap, and others.
Dress: Comfortable and layers, as the weather can be changeable at this time of the year. Dinner is usually a cleaner, drier version of what you wear during the day. Sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots are recommended.
Food and Drink: The food is excellent at Snowbird Lodge. We will be having our breakfasts and dinners there (these are included in the cost of your stay). Snowbird also provides picnic lunches so we’ll take these with us in the morning and find a nice spot to eat around noon. Snowbird now has a fully licensed bar, so you can enjoy a glass of wine or other libation with your dinner.
Pace: The week is taken at an easy and relaxing pace. The walking is mostly level and easy, with a few moderate hikes. As we will be birding and appreciating fall wildflowers & butterflies, the pace will be very leisurely.