We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Western North Carolina Nature Center

Features Animals
Open today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Review Highlights
Wonderful day trip

My family and I love coming to this place when we visit Asheville. Not only are the exhibits... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
mother thetesa
via mobile
Very nice local Zoo

We had an off day with rain during our trip to Asheville and found this hidden gem. The place is... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Richmond VA
via mobile
Read all 687 reviews
All photos (267)
Full view
Certificate of Excellence
Traveler Overview
  • Excellent58%
  • Very good31%
  • Average9%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“petting zoo”(67 reviews)
“native animals”(20 reviews)
“otter feeding”(14 reviews)
Visit the Western North Carolina Nature Center - home to over 60 species of animals including river otters, black bear, red wolves and cougars. The Western North Carolina Nature Center connects people with the animals and plants of the Southern...more
Closed Now
Hours Today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
See all hours
Suggested duration: 1-2 hours
75 Gashes Creek Rd, Asheville, NC 28805-2529
+1 828-259-8080
Top Selling Tours & Activities in and around Asheville
from $72.00
More Info
from $49.99
More Info
from $95.00
More Info
Reviews (687)
Filter reviews
682 results
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviewspetting zoonative animalsotter feedinganimals seemgreat place to take the kidskids and adultswhole familynorth carolinafew hoursall agescouple hoursthe barngreat place to visiton displaybearsenclosureswnc
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 682 reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago

It's a relatively small when you think 'zoo' but big enough to spend a couple hours. The guide map made it easy to follow the trails. There were places to sit down along the way, which were appreciated, while a couple of our party of...More

Thank K S
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

My family and I love coming to this place when we visit Asheville. Not only are the exhibits wonderful so that you can actually see the animals but staff is very knowledgeable about the exhibits. My grandson enjoys the playgrounds sprinkled throughout as well. With...More

Thank mother thetesa
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We had an off day with rain during our trip to Asheville and found this hidden gem. The place is very clean and well maintained. The animals were all healthy and active, and indigenous to the region which I found refreshing. This is a fun...More

Thank davidtQ3977SW
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Very nice nature center. Close up views of the animals, well maintained. As previous poster wrote it does smell like animals, but it is an animal exhibit 😉

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 1 week ago

It was ok, it smells like animal everywhere and it's an old facility, well maintained. We saw an owl exhibition and that was cute but nothing you have to do when you are there unless you have too much time.

Thank Kala1609
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

My family and I enjoy this place. This is like a zoo, but with local type animals found in the area. All proceeds go to the animals and their welfare. You can adopt an animal, join the Friends of the Nature Center, or buy a...More

Thank Elena W
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is an awesome place to take the children with lots of animals and interesting things to see & do. We love going there and it's easy to find as well.

Thank Susan S
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We loved this little jewel. If you have a membership at your local zoo, it may have reciprocity here. Parking is a bit tougher, so recommend getting the early. Staff members were super nice and knowledgeable. Nicely laid out, a good walking path takes you...More

Thank Rachel G
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Not much parking on site, we had to park a little further up and park on the side of the road like everyone else. We got in, and tried to get our tickets. Where the tickets are sold is where you walk back through to...More

1  Thank firgodes7
Reviewed July 12, 2018

The nature center was fun for the family. There were wild animals that are no longer in the area due to endangerment of the species. The Red wolves especially caught my eye. We loved it so much we bought season passes!

Thank Lily H
View more reviews
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
June 8, 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from AmeriCorps M | Property representative |
Hi there! You are welcome to bring food with you into the park, there is just no food allowed near the NC Farm petting area. There are picnic tables on the mid level of the park near the gift shop cabin.
Tommy L
April 17, 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from jelsegood | Reviewed this property |
I think most people covered that. Some animals have a tendency to sleep part of the day. They also have feeding times so check the calendar. We went mid morning and a few of the animals were on nap time.
March 1, 2017|
Response from FriendsofWNCNC | Property representative |
Hi! I would plan for about 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on the interest of your toddler. There are quite a few Nature Play areas where your little one can explore and play in addition to the animals, so plan to stop on your way... More