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
Closed Now: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Open today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Review Highlights
Close Encounters

We took her three grandchildren to the Nature Center and enjoyed it a lot. The habitats are very... read more

Reviewed August 21, 2018
Etowah, North Carolina
via mobile

Quaint, family-friendly and thoughtfully-designed, the WNC Nature Center is a lovely place to visit... read more

Reviewed August 19, 2018
Ellicott City, Maryland
via mobile
Read all 699 reviews
All photos (277)
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”(15 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 $75.00
More Info
from $49.99
More Info
from $95.00
More Info
Reviews (699)
There are newer reviews for Western North Carolina Nature Center
See the most recent reviews
Filter reviews
694 results
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviews petting zoo native animals otter feeding animals seem great place to take the kids kids and adults whole family north carolina few hours all ages the barn couple hours great place to visit on display bears enclosures wnc
Updating list...
11 - 20 of 694 reviews
Reviewed August 21, 2018 via mobile

We took her three grandchildren to the Nature Center and enjoyed it a lot. The habitats are very natural and I think there is a great variety of native animal species. We particularly enjoyed seeing the wolves and the Bears. Watching the Otters feeding was...More

2  Thank guv11
Reviewed August 19, 2018 via mobile

Quaint, family-friendly and thoughtfully-designed, the WNC Nature Center is a lovely place to visit for an hour or two or longer if you are with the littles. There are many places set aside for adult rest alongside children’s play areas, including many “builder/maker” spaces that...More

Thank kris327
Reviewed August 15, 2018

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 August 11, 2018 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 motherthetesa
Reviewed August 6, 2018 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
Reviewed August 5, 2018 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 Inspire375331
Reviewed August 5, 2018

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 July 30, 2018

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

1  Thank eqw1982
Reviewed July 25, 2018

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 July 22, 2018 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
View more reviews
Nearby HotelsSee all 70 nearby hotels
Ramada by Wyndham Asheville Southeast
1,215 reviews
.88 miles away
Best Western Asheville Tunnel Road
1,730 reviews
1.31 miles away
Courtyard Asheville
276 reviews
1.81 miles away
Motel 6 Asheville
181 reviews
1.82 miles away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 857 nearby restaurants
Copper Crown
161 reviews
.73 miles away
East Village Grille
259 reviews
.86 miles away
Pomodoros Greek & Italian East
371 reviews
.77 miles away
85 reviews
.85 miles away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 472 nearby attractions
Blue ridge Parkway Visitor Center
300 reviews
.92 miles away
Highland Brewing Company
279 reviews
.47 miles away
Troy and Sons Distillers
21 reviews
.47 miles away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
August 25, 2018|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from Beth S | Reviewed this property |
We used a gps and had no issues
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.