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Western North Carolina Nature Center

Features Animals
75 Gashes Creek Rd, Asheville, NC 28805-2529
+1 828-259-8080
Review Highlights
Calm and relaxing outing

This is a nice place to go in the afternoon after church. You can take your time walking around and... read more

Reviewed March 12, 2016
Franklin, North Carolina
via mobile
Great place to spend quality family time.

Full of learning exhibits, animals and activities for the whole family. The new playground is my... read more

Reviewed March 9, 2016
Meredith N
Read all 624 reviews
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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 Appalachian Mountain region by inspiring appreciation, nurturing understanding, and advancing conservation of the region's rich biodiversity. The Nature Center is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. Less than 220 facilities in the United States have met the high accreditation standards set by AZA
  • Excellent57%
  • Very good32%
  • Average9%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“petting zoo” (67 reviews)
“small zoo” (20 reviews)
“native animals” (18 reviews)
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
75 Gashes Creek Rd, Asheville, NC 28805-2529
+1 828-259-8080
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Reviews (624)
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211 - 220 of 619 reviews

Reviewed March 12, 2016 via mobile

This is a nice place to go in the afternoon after church. You can take your time walking around and observing the adorable animals. The otters are the best part!

Thank kseam6259
Reviewed March 9, 2016

Full of learning exhibits, animals and activities for the whole family. The new playground is my kids new favorite.

Thank Meredith N
Reviewed March 7, 2016

Took my toddler grandson there the other day. Definitely a fun, educational, kid-friendly place to visit for a morning or afternoon. Plenty of "wild" animals to see (bear, deer, otter, wolves, cougars, lynx, birds of prey, snakes and more) and a petting zoo. Walking paths...More

Thank Tom S
Reviewed March 4, 2016

Even in the winter when some of the animals were hibernating this nature center was a blast! They have an otter feeding which I highly recommend. There are play and discovery areas scattered around the park for kids and kids at heart. They are currently...More

Thank Alison B
Reviewed February 28, 2016

This is a favorite Asheville activity of mine. I go for a visit at least once a year... always interested in what the animals are up to and reading the information. The staff is very informed, the animals appear to be very well taken care...More

Thank williamtraveler9
Reviewed February 23, 2016

We have visited the Nature Center many times. It is not a huge zoo but it is well arranged and they do a good job with the space they have. The park is mostly animals that are native to North Carolina so they all thrive...More

1  Thank Work2Go
Reviewed February 15, 2016 via mobile

Self guided tour around the park takes about 2-3 hour depending on if you walk the nature trail. We just saw the animal attractions. Got to see the otters being fed and heard their story. There was even a petting zoo. Very entertaining and enough...More

1  Thank Michael G
Reviewed February 12, 2016

A small venue with no waiting and not crowded. Lazy, hazy tour of the expected animals with a gracious staff. Easily accessible from the Asheville, N C area within several minutes of the Interstates I-26 & 40. (Attention to some folk: The municipal golf course...More

1  Thank JULIAN M
Reviewed February 11, 2016 via mobile

Since it was freezing out we had the zoo pretty much to ourselves. The otters played and swam by the window we were standing at for quite a long time. The black bears were hibernating so we could not see them. But we got to...More

1  Thank MSH28
Reviewed February 9, 2016

One of our favorite destinations when visiting NC is the WNC Nature Center. Visit the bear, deer, wolves, coyotes and numerous other animals and enjoy their indoor educational exhibits. Recommended!

Thank C N
Sponsored by:
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Questions & Answers
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
Crystal M
July 18, 2016|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Jnnfrguy99 | Reviewed this property |
We got in free with our pass from our local museum.