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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
Cold visit

We visited on a cold day. We were there for about an hour. We almost had the place to ourselves... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Independence, Kentucky, United States
via mobile
Enjoyable visit with cougars, wolves, otters and more

We were here in December so the bears were in their dens, but all of the other animals were out and... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Dave C
Summerville, South Carolina, United States
Read all 642 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%
Travellers talk about
“petting zoo” (67 reviews)
“small zoo” (22 reviews)
“native animals” (19 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
Write a ReviewReviews (642)
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1 - 10 of 637 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We visited on a cold day. We were there for about an hour. We almost had the place to ourselves. Very small zoo but let’s you get very close to the animals. We are used to the Cincinnati zoo, so this was a lot more...More

Thank welltraveledson
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We were here in December so the bears were in their dens, but all of the other animals were out and about. We got some really nice pictures. We had an enjoyable visit here.

Thank Dave C
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We came here the day after Christmas and were pleased to find a zoo in the mountains!! There were a pretty good number of animals on display including otters, birds, cougars, bobcats, snakes, toads, fish, and many others. It may not have some of the...More

1  Thank briantallman3
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Well worth the trip. The whole family will enjoy this experience. Animals are well taken care of ,lots of activities for the family.

1  Thank teresa s
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

What a great time, kids loved it. Just enough to keep them entertained. Not like walking around for hours at a major zoo. Perfectly sized, would def go back again!

Thank Brian C
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Loved this small zoo. We enjoyed the opportunity to get up close to the animals. We enjoyed reading the info plaques, appreciated the enclosures and relished the quiet openness of the location. Priced perfectly.

Thank kris-fla
Reviewed 11 December 2017 via mobile

Great place to go and see native wildlife. Exhibits are spacious and well kept allowing you to see all of the animals. The time of year prevented us from seeing the bears but other than that we had a great time!

Thank Austin S
Reviewed 5 December 2017

We had a great afternoon walking the paths and viewing the animals. We watched the bears for about thiry minutes and they are fattening up for their winter siesta. We also enjoyed watching the otters and one was playing with his food instead of eating...More

Thank thop2
Reviewed 2 December 2017

Easy to walk around. We found we get up close to most of the animals. Took some amazing pictures. Staff was very courteous and knowledgeable. Personally, a much better experience than Bay's Mountain.

1  Thank Sue C
Reviewed 30 November 2017

My husband and I always love visiting the WNC Nature Center. We didn't see the bears this time (they were hiding in their enclosure), but we saw all the other animals and birds, including the river otters - my favorites. The center is already looking...More

1  Thank MLMpoohbear
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
1 March 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
18 July 2016|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Jnnfrguy99 | Reviewed this property |
We got in free with our pass from our local museum.