October is my favorite month to get outside and enjoy the Smoky Mountains. Hopefully you’ll have time an outdoor outing or two next month, too.

I want to share six affordable opportunities with the Smoky Mountain Field School.

Edible & Poisonous Fungi of the Smokies on Oct. 9 — Here’s a chance to learn about the many kinds of mushrooms and how to identify them by size, shape, and color.

Fruit, Foliage & Fall Wildlife on Oct. 9 — Discover the magic of fall in the Smokies as you seek out the many colorful fruits and leaves of the mountains, and carefully consider the wildlife they attract.

Incredible Edibles & Traditional Medicinals on Oct. 9 — Spend a day discovering how to identify plants and trees Native Americans and early settlers used for dye, food, medicines, crafts, and other items of daily life.

Day Hike to Mt. LeConte on Oct. 16 — Spend a day with a naturalist and former Park Ranger exploring the plants, animals, and history along one of the most beautiful and significant trails in the Smokies.

Fall Nature Photography on Oct. 23 — Learn techniques for designing photographs of combined subjects such as landscapes, waterscapes, and fall color.

Animal Tracking & Nature Observation on Oct. 24 — You don’t have to see animals to tell that they were there, what they were doing, and when they may come back. Tracking is an ancient skill, but it can open up a whole new world.

The Field School is an educational partnership between the University of Tennessee and  Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Darrin Devault, UT Professional & Personal Development

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