Western North Carolina Nature Center, Asheville

4.4
#3 of 15 in Parks in Asheville
Zoo · Hidden Gem · Zoo / Aquarium
Home to wildlife from southern Appalachia, Western North Carolina Nature Center began as a city zoo, but its important work with local conservation caused it to morph into a nature center. The densely forested Appalachian Mountains hide an array of creatures from red wolves to colorful birds, and this center showcases more than 60 animal species. Wander through the natural habitat and discover small mammals, otters, and predators. Explore the natural environment on the Swannanoa River along a nature trail. Vending machines provide some snacks and beverages, and you can bring your own food to enjoy on the picnic tables. To visit Western North Carolina Nature Center on your trip to Asheville, use our Asheville travel route planning website.
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Western North Carolina Nature Center reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
756 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • As a local, I have watched the WNC Nature Center evolve and grow over the years. I have taken children of all ages here for well over a decade. It never fails to be a unique, educational and...  more »
  • It was a last minute decision to go to the nature center, but I’m so glad we did! It is a very nice place that is well laid out and has some amazing native animals. Of course, the bears were...  more »
Google
  • Awesome little zoo we stumbled upon a few years ago and now we try to visit as much as we can! They have recently upgraded and expanded a bit so it is even nicer! Some of the exhibits need better viewing areas but overall it is great! Lots of animals and even when it has been cold and rainy during our visits most of the residents have been out and active. Well worth the visit!
  • I loved this place. Wish I could stay longer. I kept getting dirty looks though since my toddler was screaming bloody murder in a designated quiet zone. Sorry bears. Wish I could've stayed longer, maybe next time. Very nice sized natural exhibits and I think its wonderful how they have wildlife that is from the area. Tons of activities for kids. Hopefully yours behave better than mine.
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