LINVILLE — Wonders never cease at Grandfather Mountain — even after business hours.

The Linville-based nonprofit nature preserve and attraction is bringing back its Grandfather Presents evening lecture series for 2018, along with numerous other educational opportunities for visitors of all ages.

“On the mountain, we like to bridge outdoor fun with education,” said Frank Ruggiero, director of marketing and communications for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that oversees and operates the park. “With our Grandfather Presents series, guests can enjoy presentations from some of the country’s foremost experts on conservation, including professors, naturalists, scientists, photographers, writers, historians and artists.”

“Grandfather Presents” topics include:

Grandfather Presents: Dr. Patrick McMillan, Naturalist and TV Host

Thursday, June 20 (Limit: 165 attendees; $20, Free for Bridge Club Members)

The opening lecture will feature Dr. Patrick McMillan, naturalist, author, educator and Emmy Award-winning host of “Expeditions with Patrick McMillan.” This PBS-aired series follows McMillan on expeditions throughout North and South America, featuring wilderness, journeys through gorges, wildlife and other ecologically rich destinations. In his presentation, McMillan will expound on his passion for the natural world and how Grandfather Mountain is part of that.

For more information, or to register, click to

Grandfather Presents: Scott Huler, Author and Radio Personality

Thursday, July 18 (Limit: 165 attendees — $20, free for Bridge Club Members)

Scott Huler is an award-winning radio personality and the author of seven books. In 2014, Huler decided to journey from home to follow in the footsteps of 1700s renowned naturalist John Lawson. In this lecture, Huler will discuss his unlikely choice to travel by foot and canoe through the Carolinas and reveal what it’s like to rediscover one’s own home. Huler currently works as the senior writer at Duke Magazine. However, he has also taught at colleges such as Berry College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his books have been translated into five languages.

For more information, or to register, click to

Grandfather Presents: Jennifer Pharr Davis, Hiker and Author

Thursday, Aug. 29 (Limit: 165 attendees; cost: $20, free for Bridge Club Members)

In 2011, Jennifer Pharr Davis covered the 2,185-mile Appalachian Trail in 46 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes, maintaining an average of 47 miles per day. Because of this remarkable hike, she claimed the overall (male or female) fastest known time on the AT and became the first woman to set the mark. Davis has covered more than 14,000 miles of long-distance trails on six different continents, is an author, speaker and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and strives “to make the wilderness accessible and enjoyable” for hikers of all ages. In her upcoming lecture, Davis will speak about what motivates her and what gives her strength to persevere.

“I saw Jennifer speak in Winston-Salem for the anniversary of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail,” said Julie Mullis, naturalist at Grandfather Mountain. “The one thing that really struck me about her is how much she was down to earth, funny and just had so many engaging stories about her experiences on the Appalachian Trail. I would say she is inspirational, and I am looking forward to seeing her speak again.”

For more information, or to register, click to

Registration and more

Each Grandfather Presents event runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m., with refreshments being served at 6 p.m. and the program beginning at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $20 per person and free for members of Grandfather Mountain’s Bridge Club program. Lectures are limited to 165 attendees each, and registration is required. Call (828) 733-2013 or click to for more information.

For more information, call (800) 468-7325, or click to to plan a trip.

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