The Nature Center is a truly unique zoo experience; the park focuses on wildlife native to the Southern Appalachian region and includes species that are commonly seen in the mountains, including bobcats, black bears, red foxes, river otters, and many species of reptiles and amphibians. The park also offers guests the chance to observe animals that no longer inhabit this region, such as gray wolves and mountain lions. The animals thrive in spacious, naturalistic habitats that offer interpretive information and great viewing and photo opportunities.
Children and families will love exploring the Nature Center’s 42 acres of winding pathways while learning about native animals and plants. Educational animal encounters are offered twice a day and range from meeting an owl, learning about a skunk, touching an American toad, watching an otter feeding, and more. The Center also contains a large educational barn and petting area for fun encounters with local farmyard animals. Whether your family enjoys climbing at the Arachnid Adventure play area, strolling along the ¾ mile Trillium Nature Trail, or just observing the animals and appreciating the scenery, the Nature Center has something for everyone.
The Nature Center is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a national organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. The Center’s goal is to provide fun, educational, and safe interactions with local wildlife, and the park provides hours of entertainment for animal enthusiasts and nature lovers of all ages.
Photos by Jill Sharp and Jamie Sharp Courtesy of the WNC Nature Center
The Western North Carolina Nature Center is a great destination for family day-trips this summer!
The WNC Nature Center is located at 75 Gashes Creek Rd., Asheville, NC 28805. Visit us online at wncnaturecenter.com or call 828-259-8080.