Classes and Seminars
A Walk in the Woods offers a wide range of classes and seminars to help you enjoy nature to its fullest! With all our classes, we try to engage all of your senses in a fun, hands on environment. We mix classroom type teaching with fun activities and direct experiences in nature.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the perfect place to study! With an estimated 100,000 species of life big enough to see with the naked eye, 9 distinct forest types, and over 20,000 types of mushrooms, it is a dramatic reservoir of life and learning.

A Walk in the Woods offer classes on Edible Plants, Medicinal Plants, Edible Mushrooms, Backpacking, Nature Exploration with Children, Primitive Skills, Compass Navigation and more.

We have worked with schools, scouts, business, civic and church groups. We can even come to your setting and perform classes on your land. In addition to working with groups setting up programs to fit their needs, we also offer regularly scheduled classes for individuals and families.

Questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Upcoming Events for 2016:

Title of Class Nature is Sense-sational! Using your 5 senses to find your place in nature
Length/Price
Two Hours
$78 for first person, $25 each additional person ($75, $23 respectively with Cash Discount).
Great for school kids, scouts or families .
Rating Easy. Suitable for anybody in reasonable shape.
Upcoming Dates
Call for schedule (865) 436-8283 or reserve class online
Description

Leave the electronic age behind as you immerse yourself in nature through a journey of the senses. On this gentle two hour walk, you will explore the world around you up close through touch, sound, taste, smell as well as sight. We rely on our sight to identify our surroundings but often leave the rest of our senses by the wayside. Sure, you can look at a leaf to identify it but what is the scent of that leaf when crushed? Does a twig from that tree smell the same? The forest offers a palate of tastes if we venture to take a sample. Have you ever walked barefoot through a forest? Tune your feet to know if you are still on the trail. And what is that brook babbling about anyway? Stop to listen and you might learn a secret or two. Get in touch with your five senses and maybe even find a sixth! This program is great for kids of all ages!

Title of Class You're Barking Up the Right Tree ... Learning the Basics of Tree Identification
Length/Price
Two Hours
$78 for first person, $25 each additional person ($75, $23 respectively with Cash Discount).
Great for school kids, scouts or families .
Rating Easy. Suitable for anybody in reasonable shape.
Upcoming Dates
Call for schedule (865) 436-8283 or reserve class online
Description

The Smokies have over 140 different types of trees, more than all of Europe. So many of them look similar, how can you tell them apart? Our Naturalists will introduce you to some of the trees of the area and what makes them special. You'll gain greater knowledge about bark, buds and leaves and the overall personality of the individual trees. This class will help you to become an expert on some of the more common trees of the Eastern United States, and their many uses. Caution: this class has been known to turn participants into tree huggers!

Title of Class These Flowers are Wild ... Learning Basic Tricks to Plant Identification
Length/Price
Two Hours
$78 for first person, $25 each additional person ($75, $23 respectively with Cash Discount).
Great for school kids, scouts or families .
Rating Easy. Suitable for anybody in reasonable shape.
Upcoming Dates
Call for schedule (865) 436-8283 or reserve class online
Description

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most biodiverse place in the the world North of the Tropics, with forest types found from Canada to Northern Florida. The Park is the perfect classroom for learning about plants that grow all over North America. Take a walk in the woods with an experienced Naturalist and unlock the mysteries of plant identification. We'll show you the best field guides to use, simple strategies to learning the individual personality of each plant, and even what common plants to use for wild foods and medicines.

Title of Class Backpacking 101: Everything you ever wanted to learn about backpacking, but were afraid to ask. Just like Samantha Brown did on the Travel Channel
Length/Price
Two Days One Night

$254 total/includes all backpacking gear, meals and guide. $224 total if you provide your own backpacking gear. Outing size restricted to 8 people total including guide.

 

Rating Moderate. For beginner and intermediate backpackers.
Upcoming Dates

March 19th - March 20th (Saturday - Sunday) - CLOSED
April 23rd - April 24th (Saturday - Sunday) - 1 SPOT LEFT
May 7th - 8th (Saturday - Sunday)
May 21st - 22nd (Saturday - Sunday)
June 18th - 19th (Saturday - Sunday)
July 16th - 17th (Saturday - Sunday)
August 6th - 7th (Saturday - Sunday)
September 3rd - 4th (Saturday - Sunday)
October 8th - 9th (Saturday - Sunday)
October 29th - 30th (Saturday - Sunday)
To reserve, please call (865) 436-8283 or reserve course online
 
Description

Turn that curiosity into knowledge with a one night trip into the woods. Learn everything about the exciting and challenging sport of backpacking while meeting other people. On this trip, you will learn all the steps needed to become a proficient backpacker. Find out what to pack and not to pack, and how to wear your pack for the most comfort. You'll learn how to use the best gear and what to do in the event that things don't go as planned, if the weather changes or your gear doesn't work well. You'll learn how to identify wild plants, which ones are edible and poisonous, how to cure headaches and poison ivy, and how to survive in case of emergency. We'll start with a brief class on backpacking and apply it in real life.

Title of Trip Women in Wilderness Luxury Glampout
Length/Price
Three Days Two Nights
$625 or $593 with cash discount. Includes luxury front country camping accommodations, gourmet meals, snacks, AM/PM yoga, guided tours by our expert naturalists that include a wild edibles walk, a step back in time, a birding identification stroll, and more.
Outing size restricted to 20 participants.
Rating Easy, for anybody in good health.
Upcoming Dates Sunday Sept 18th - Tuesday Sept 20th. - SOLD OUT
Description

Need time out from your daily life? Immerse yourself in the calming embrace of nature as your cares drop off like leaves in autumn. Relinquish your burdens as you enjoy a few days free of technology, noise and responsibilities. Our journey will take place in a quiet section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, away from the crowds, surrounded by the beauty of the forest and rare vegetation. Camp in style with roomy tents complete with comfy cots topped with air mattresses. Participants will enjoy a meet and greet, healthy gourmet camp meals, yoga and guided tours. Chose from easy to moderate nature walks that may take you to explore pristine streams, gentle waterfalls, amazing views and more. Enjoy a walk back in time with our history walk. Learn to identify backyard wild edibles on our “Waiter, there's a weed on my plate” excursion. What is that beautiful bird song? We'll take a moment to explore the wonderful world of our fine feathered friends as we walk in an ancient Cove Hardwood forest. Nutrition for the body, mind, and spirit will be provided. Connect with like minded women and experience a fun, intimate environment where you can step out of your comfort zone to realize more of your potential. Leave the makeup bag behind… this is about uncovering the most authentic you.

Title of Walk Birding Tours
Length/Price

Half day tour: $150 for first person, $20 each additional.
Full day tour: $250 for first person, $25 each additional. Special group rates available.

Upcoming Dates Call for schedule (865) 436-8283 or request walk online
Description

Join us for a 3 hour tour with Naturalist, Jaimie Matzko, as she shows you the wonders of spring in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Spend the morning exploring the different habitats, including one found only in the Southern Appalachians, a Cove hardwood forest as well as a Spruce- fir forest in search of wildflowers, migrating songbirds and other signs of spring. You'll be learning some simple birding ID techniques by sight and sound, so bring your binoculars. This tour will include some short, but moderate walks so be prepared to get out and go exploring!

Rating: For a 3 Hour walk this is Easy with some Moderate spots.

Title of Class MEDICINAL PLANTS OF THE SMOKIES
Length/Price
Two hours.
$75 for first person, $25 each additional person.
Rating Easy. Suitable for anybody in reasonable shape.
Upcoming Dates

Call for schedule (865) 436-8283 or reserve class online

Description

Have you ever wondered what plants were used for ailments in the days before our modern-day medicines? Take a walk back in time to learn the history, lore and traditional uses of local plants practiced by the Cherokee and early settlers of the area. On this walk, you learn to identify common plants to use at home for anything from arthritis, aches and pains, fevers, influenza, childbirth, insomnia, respiratory disorders, and overall health. Each season showcases different herbs.  You'll be amazed at the abundance of green medicine found in your own backyard.

Title of Class Introduction to Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants (subtitled "Waiter, there's a Weed on my Plate!")
Length/Price
Half Day
$105 for first person, $52 each additional person ($100, $50 respectively with Cash Discount).
Class size restricted to 15 people
Rating Easy. Suitable for anybody in reasonable shape.
Upcoming Dates
Available on Request. To reserve, please call (865) 436-8283 or reserve class online
Description

Remember when you had a cold or sore throat and grandma would make you a nice soothing cup of tea from wild herbs? Ever wonder what she used to make you feel better? Would you like to learn what grandma knew?

Make new friends while you spend a day in the Smokies with A Walk in the Woods. Learn how to identify wild edible and medicinal plants and mushrooms that you may find in your own yard, nearby meadows or neighborhood woods. A Walk in the Woods puts fun back into learning about nature! All of our classes are hands on and we use all of our senses to experience nature in a new way. Our day begins in an outdoor classroom setting learning how to identify plants and common mushrooms, than we'll go for a walk to explore various types of outdoor settings and what is found there. We'll discuss the nutritional values of wild plants, what the Native Americans and settlers used them for and what modern science has to say.

 

A Walk in the Woods is starting our 18th year of business. In that time we have safely helped over 73,500 people enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

We are permitted through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and insured. We are certified in Wilderness First Responder, Professional Level CPR and Non-Lethal Aversive Bear Conditioning.

Please call (865) 436-8283 or email for reservations and more information.

 

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