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Adult Field Course: Exploring the Sky Island of the Southern Appalachians – The Spruce-Fir Forest

June 15, 2023 @10:00 am - 4:00 pm

$51.00 – $60.00
Spruce Fir Trees Grandfather Mountain

Join John Caveny, Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation’s own Director of Conservation and Education, as we explore, examine and discuss one of the most endangered forest types in the United States, the Spruce-Fir Forest. During this field course, participants will explore off the beaten path to find some of the largest Red Spruce trees on the park property. Participants will learn about the forest ecology and wildlife and assist John in gathering scientific data to benefit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation’s Natural Resource Management Program. Participants need to be prepared to hike through the woods where there is no trail.

John Caveny has worked with the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation for 10 years and has served in several capacities in the park. In his current role, he oversees the Department of Conservation and Education and has been very active in developing, implementing, and expanding the natural resource management projects that occur on the property.

Program Itinerary
10:00 a.m.: Meet at the Wilson Center for Nature Discovery and Introductions
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Field time
12:00-12:30 p.m.: Lunch at Wilson Center
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.: Spruce-fir lecture
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.: Field time
3:30 – 4:00 p.m.: Wrap up/Q&A/Evaluations

This Adult Field Course costs $60 for general admission and $51 for members of Grandfather Mountain’s Bridge Club, plus tax. Attendance is limited to 20 participants. Registration opens below on April 20 at 9 a.m.

Your program cost includes admission into the park, field instruction, and transportation during your program (you may drive your own vehicle to visit sites on the mountain if you would prefer). It does not include meals or lodging. Bringing a bagged lunch is recommended for most field courses, although Mildred’s Grill will be open to attendees. Tips are not accepted for field courses. However, donations to the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation are accepted if you would like to recognize a program.

General Clothing List
Much of your time will be spent outdoors and all programs are held rain, snow or shine. You should be prepared for a variety of mountain weather conditions and temperatures. Appropriate clothing, equipment, and footwear are very important.


  • Daypack with enough room to carry extra clothing, water, lunch, camera, etc.
  • Water Bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Hiking boots
  • Binoculars

Equipment Specific to this Course

  • Note pad and writing utensil
  • Long pants and preferably long sleeved shirts are strongly encouraged as we will be walking through the woods.
  • Sturdy hiking boots or closed-toed shoes are required
  • Data gathering instruments will be provided

Adult Field Courses generally sell out and have a waiting list associated with the event. If you cannot attend the field course that you are registered for, a full refund will be granted within a 5-day notice of the day of the field course. This allows time for individuals on the waiting list to make accommodations to attend the event. We ask that individuals who are sick with any illness to stay home to ensure the health and safety of other participants, our staff, and the field course instructors – refunds will be granted to these individuals.

More about Field Courses
We at Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation are excited to share the unique wonders of the mountain with you. Since 2008, GMSF has aimed at creating educational programming that deepens understanding through in-depth study and field research. Our goal is to provide you with a rich experience in a particular field of study, and to also provide a safe and memorable trip to Grandfather Mountain. Read more about Field Courses.


June 15, 2023
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
$51.00 – $60.00
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Grandfather Mountain
2050 Blowing Rock Highway
Linville, NC 28646 United States
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Grandfather Mountain | Home to the Swinging Bridge, Animal Habitats and Nature Museum

GPS: 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646
Mailing: PO Box 129, Linville, NC 28646

Owned & operated by Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation.
Go here for Grandfather Mountain State Park information.
Member of Southern Highlands Attractions