Western North Carolina Nature Center, Asheville

4.4
#2 of 14 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.
Create an itinerary including Western North Carolina Nature Center
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Western North Carolina Nature Center reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
759 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • On a recent visit to Asheville, I had mentioned to my family about visiting the Nature Preserve. No one really said yes or no until my 3 y/o grandson kept asking to see animals during the car ride...  more »
  • Took my Milligan University Flora and Fauna of the Southern Appalachians class today, as I have for the last 4 years ( except last spring due to Covid 19). Mu wife and I get an annual membership and....  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.

Plan your trip to Asheville

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.