Western North Carolina is a nature lover's paradise, boasting breathtaking landscapes
and a diverse range of wildlife.

For adventurous souls seeking an up-close encounter with nature, guided wildlife tours provide an unparalleled opportunity to explore the region's abundant natural wonders. In 2023, several remarkable guided wildlife tours are set to captivate visitors with their unique offerings. Let's dive into some of the standout experiences and their locations that will leave you in awe of Western North Carolina's rich biodiversity.

Pisgah National Forest – Elk Viewing Safari: Embark on an enchanting wildlife safari in the sprawling Pisgah National Forest to witness the magnificent elk herds that call this region home. As you journey through the forest's lush valleys and rolling hills, keep your camera ready to capture the sight of these majestic creatures grazing peacefully. Knowledgeable guides will share insights into the elk's natural history and the conservation efforts undertaken to protect their population. The tours usually depart from Asheville and traverse the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.

The tour is approximately 2 hours long, and it is offered year-round.

Cherokee Indian Reservation – Bald Eagle Photography Tour: For avid photographers and bird enthusiasts, the Cherokee Indian Reservation offers an exclusive opportunity to observe and photograph the regal bald eagles in their natural habitat. Accompanied by expert guides, you'll explore the reservation's pristine wilderness, where these magnificent raptors soar overhead and perch atop towering trees. Learn about the cultural significance of bald eagles to the Cherokee people and gain insights into their behavior and conservation. Tours typically depart from the town of Cherokee, North Carolina.

The tour is approximately 3 hours long, and it is offered year-round.

Nantahala National Forest – Waterfall and Birding Expedition: Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Nantahala National Forest while indulging in a mesmerizing combination of waterfall exploration and birdwatching. Traverse scenic trails and listen to the melodious chirping of vibrant bird species as you discover hidden cascades nestled within this pristine wilderness. Expert naturalists will provide valuable knowledge about the region's avian inhabitants and the importance of preserving their habitats. Tours often commence from the town of Bryson City, offering easy access to the forest's wonders.

The tour is approximately 4 hours long, and it is offered year-round.

Each tour promises a memorable and educational experience. So, pack your bags, bring your camera, and embark on a wildlife adventure that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the natural beauty of Western North Carolina.


WNCTimes May 2023






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