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Something for Everyone: Birding at Any Level in the Appalachians of Virginia

Program Number: 2043RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/24/2015 - 5/29/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Pembroke, Virginia
Price starting at: $799.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding; Natural History
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian    

Enjoy and embrace an active week exploring sight and sound identification, learning how to read songbird habitat, and predicting species presence. Develop new skills and sharpen old ones through background sessions and active field experiences. Fundamentals for the beginning birder and intermediate challenges for avid avian enthusiasts make this an exciting birding experience. All levels are welcome at Mountain Lake — one of the best birding areas in all of Virginia.




Highlights

• Learn about recent field research during a field trip to the Mountain Lake Biological Station.
• Add to your birding life list during early morning and afternoon bird walks.
• Take in informative presentations on migrations, bird songs and colors, and species such as hummingbirds and warblers.



Activity Particulars

Elevations of 4000 feet. Daily birding walks on well-groomed trails.



So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1.



Coordinated by The Mountain Lake Conservancy.




Pembroke

Situated at an elevation of 4,000 feet in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, Pembroke encompasses 2,600 peaceful wooded acres that surround the only natural lake in the region, which is also home to rural Appalachian culture and traditions.



Accommodations
Resort accommodations in cottages or historic hotel overlooking the highest natural lake east of the Mississippi River and sitting on 2,600 acres of unspoiled wilderness; famous as the site in the movie "Dirty Dancing."
Meals and Lodgings
   Mountain Lake Lodge
  Pembroke, VA 5 nights
 Mountain Lake Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: Discover the ultimate outdoor retreat in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountain Range and the center of a 2,600 acre nature preserve. This winter, Mountain Lake completed renovation of many of our guestrooms and cabins, added new recreational activities including an Aerial & Zip Line Adventure Course, and increased our special events! Mountain Lake Lodge is the ideal place for families, friends, couples and groups to recreate and relax amidst nature’s bounty. Arrive to an unhurried pace in a place faithful to the outdoors, where friendly service prevails. Please visit www.MtnLakeLodge.com for more information!
  Contact info: 115 Hotel Circle
Pembroke, VA 24136 USA
phone: 540-626-7121
web: www.MtnLakeLodge.com
  Room amenities: Newly renovated rooms! Private bathroom, coffee, coffee machine. The rooms are equipped with hairdryer and basic commodities. Our buildings are not air conditioned as this is not necessary with the elevation and cooler temperatures. Rooms are equipped with ceiling fans and additional window fan units.
  Facility amenities: New Harvest Restaurant; Stony Creek Tavern and Lounge; Mountain Lake Outfitters with equipment rentals, retail and daily guided activities; New Treetops Aerial Adventure Course at Salt Pond Stables; Mary's Barn (billiards, ping pong, foosball, arcade games); Outdoor swimming pool (seasonal - opens Memorial Day wknd) & snack bar; Tennis court; lawn games (volleyball, badminton, tether ball, croquet, oversize lawn chess/checkers); Over 20 miles of multi-use trails; canoeing & kayaking, fishing, water-dependent; and Conservancy Cove nature center located within the Spring House building.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Begin at $99 Price varies with season and holidays. A variety of lodge and cottage accommodations are available.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Begin at $99 Price varies with season and holidays. A variety of lodge and cottage accommodations are available.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in at Mountain Lake Lodge Lobby between 4 and 5 p.m. You will be staying at Mountain Lake Lodge that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends on Friday after check-out at 11:00 am. You will be staying at Mountain Lake Lodge the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Mt. Lake Lodge is on private property and adequate, free parking is available to all guests.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Pembroke, VA
  Nearest city or town:  Pembroke, VA
  Nearest highway: Rt. 460
  Nearest airport:  Roanoke Regional
  From End of Program
  Location: Pembroke, VA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Mountain Lake, Pembroke, VA

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Mountain Lake Lodge Shuttle
phone: 540-626-7121
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$90.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 

 

Distance:

 

56 miles

   

MUST RESERVE THROUGH MTN LAKE AT LEAST ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE - MUST CONFIRM SHUTTLE RESERVATION WITH JESSICA ZIELSKE. Only one departure from the airport to the lodge. Shuttle will pick-up at Roanoke Regional Airport at 1:30pm to depart no later than 2:00pm. Shuttle will arrive at the Mountain Lake Conservancy & Lodge by 3:15pm. (Note: Shuttle is only for Road Scholar Participants. Please indicate you are a member of a RS program when calling.)

 

Mountain Lake, Pembroke, VA

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Mountain Lake Lodge Shuttle
phone: 540-626-7121
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$90.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 

 

Distance:

 

56 miles

   

MUST RESERVE THROUGH MTN LAKE AT LEAST ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE - MUST CONFIRM SHUTTLE RESERVATION WITH JESSICA ZIELSKE. Only one departure from the hotel to the airport. Shuttle will depart the Mountain Lake Conservancy & Lodge at 1:00pm and will arrive at the Roanoke Regional Airport at approximately 2:15pm. Please allow ample time before your departure flight in case of traffic delays.

 

Mountain Lake, VA

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Roanoke Airport Transportation Service
phone: 800-288-1958
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$109.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hours 

 

Distance:

 

56 miles

 

Roanoke, VA

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Roanoke Airport Transportation Service
phone: 800-288-1958
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$109.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hours 

 

Distance:

 

56 miles

 
Driving Directions
  From I-77 Take US 460 East at Princeton to left on Route 700 (Mountain Lake Road). Follow Route 700 for seven miles up the mountain to Mountain Lake
  From I-81 Take exit 118B, Christiansburg. Follow US 460 West, including bypass around Blacksburg to right on Route 700 (Mountain Lake Road). Follow Route 700 for seven miles up the mountain to Mountain Lake.
Elevation Note: The Mountain Lake Conservancy is located at 3,800 feet in the Appalachian Mountains.

Equipment Requirements: Sturdy walking shoes are recommended for walks around the property. The weather can be unpredictable, so a raincoat is also recommended. Nights can be cooler than the surrounding valleys.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Upon your arrival and check-in to Mountain Lake, join for a wine and cheese mixer to meet fellow Road Scholars. Enjoy dinner in Harvest Restaurant, and a brief orientation to prepare you for the week's adventure!
(Sunday, May 24)
   
 Afternoon: 4:00-5:00 pm - Program registration in the lodge lobby. 5:00-6:00 pm - Enjoy a wine and cheese meet and greet with fellow participants in Stony Creek Tavern.
 Dinner: 6:00 pm - Buffet dinner in the Harvest Restaurant.
 Evening: 7:30 pm - Orientation session in the meeting room.
   
Accommodations: Mountain Lake Lodge
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Start the day with an early morning bird walk around the lodge grounds. The day's topics of discussion include bird identification, physiology, warblers and more. Enjoy an evening showing of the film "Those Extraordinary Birds".
(Monday, May 25)
   
 Breakfast: 7:30-9:00 am - Buffet breakfast in Harvest Restaurant.
 Morning: 7:00 - 8:00 Early morning bird walk around the property grounds.
 Morning: 9:00 - 11:30 am - Start the week with a session on identifying birds and optics.
 Lunch: 12:00 pm - Lunch in Harvest Restaurant.
 Afternoon: 1:30 - 4:15 pm - Afternoon lecture topics include: Bird parts and colors, and the Wonderful World of Warblers
 Dinner: 5:30 pm - Dinner in Harvest Restaurant.
 Evening: 7:30 pm Movie: "Those Extraordinary Birds"
   
Accommodations: Mountain Lake Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Begin the day with an early morning bird walk around the lodge grounds. Classroom lectures will cover learning bird songs, birdwatching basics and migration. Enjoy an evening presentation "Winged Migration - How they did it!"
(Tuesday, May 26)
   
 Breakfast: 7:30-9:00 am - Buffet breakfast in Harvest Restaurant.
 Morning: 9:00 - 11:30 am - Morning classroom discussion includes learning bird songs and "Bird Watchers Wisdom Buffet".
 Morning: 7:00 - 8:00 Early morning bird walk around the property grounds.
 Lunch: 12:00 pm - Lunch in Harvest Restaurant.
 Afternoon: 1:30 - 4:15 pm - "Gone with the Wind" discussion on bird migration, followed by an afternoon bird walk around the grounds.
 Dinner: 5:30 pm - Dinner in Harvest Restaurant.
 Evening: 7:30 pm Presentation: "Winged Migration - How they did it!"
   
Accommodations: Mountain Lake Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Start your day with the early morning bird walk at the lodge. Birding field trips for the day include the nearby Mountain Lake Biological Station and also historic Glen Alton site down the mountain. The evening session is a presentation by your instructors, "The Eastern Shore Experience".
(Wednesday, May 27)

Note: Glen Alton is lower in elevation and thus higher in temperature than Mountain Lake Lodge. We will travel approximately one hour to the site, and walk up to two miles on wide gravel road and paths observing species in this new habitat.



   
 Breakfast: 7:30 - 9:00 am - Buffet breakfast available in Harvest Restaurant.
 Morning: 7:00 - 8:00 Early morning bird walk around the property grounds.
 Morning: 9:00 - 10:30 am - Take a short drive next door to the Mountain Lake Biological Station, operated by the University of VA. Meet the junco research team and enjoy birding around the pond habitat.
 Lunch: 11:15 am 4:15 pm- Depart for Glen Alton located off the mountain for a picnic lunch and to explore birding in this restored US Forest Service property including a pond, old orchard and bog-like habitat. Walking path is relatively flat, gravel and approximately 2 miles in length.
 Dinner: 5:30 pm - Dinner in Harvest Restaurant.
 Evening: 7:30 pm Presentation: "The Eastern Shore Experience"
   
Accommodations: Mountain Lake Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Continue to add to your birding list during the morning bird walk. Classroom topics include hummingbirds, birds of Mountain Lake, secrets of tropical birds and more. An evening presentation "Songs of the Night" covers nocturnal creatures of Appalachia.
(Thursday, May 28)
   
 Breakfast: 7:30 - 9:00 am - Buffet breakfast in Harvest Restaurant.
 Morning: 9:00 - 11:30 am - Morning lecture topics explore hummingbirds & the birds of Mountain Lake.
 Morning: 7:00 - 8:00 Early morning bird walk around the property grounds.
 Lunch: Lunch session from 12:00 - 1:00
 Afternoon: 1:30 - 4:15 pm - Secrets of Tropical Birds, Lessons from the Birds, and "What Kind of Bird are YOU?", followed by an afternoon bird walk on the property.
 Dinner: 5:30 pm - Dinner in Harvest Restaurant.
 Evening: 7:30 pm - Enjoy a Mountain Lake favorite! Presentation: Experience "Songs of the Night".
   
Accommodations: Mountain Lake Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Wrap up the week's program with an early morning bird walk and special classroom session "Gifts to our Grandchildren". Check out from the Lodge is 11:00 am.
(Friday, May 29)
   
 Breakfast: 7:30 - 9:00 am - Buffet breakfast in Harvest Restaurant.
 Morning: 9:00 - 10:30 am - Closing gatherings and "gifts to our grandchildren".
 Morning: 7:00 - 8:00 am - Early morning bird walk.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America


Author: David Allen Sibley




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