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Western North Carolina Nature Center

Certificate of Excellence
Features Animals
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Address: 75 Gashes Creek Rd, Asheville, NC 28805-2529
Phone Number:
+1 828-259-8080
10:00 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

Visit the Western North Carolina Nature Center - home to over 60 species of...

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

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 558 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 301
  • 186
    Very good
  • 53
  • 8
  • 6
Much more than we expected!

We had great time here! There was much more to the nature center than we were expecting. The otters were a favorite, but the short hike through the nature trails was a close... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Susan S
via mobile
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558 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 554: English reviews
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

We had great time here! There was much more to the nature center than we were expecting. The otters were a favorite, but the short hike through the nature trails was a close second!

Thank Susan S
Lexington, South Carolina
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We visited Tuesday April 11. Arriving right at opening afforded my family the chance to be first in line. We really enjoyed the fact that this facility feature wildlife that was or is native to North Carolina or the southeast. Wolves, bears,coyotes, otters and deer were some of the animals on exhibit and all were active first thing in the... More 

Thank Lakeboy01
Lexington, KY
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

This is located right at the edge of Asheville, but set in a somewhat steep and forested site. Not large, but nice for a 2 hour visit. The girls were disappointed because the bears were not out - their enclosure was being cleaned/mowed. Be sure to pan for gemstones at the sluice. We split an $8 bag between 2 girls... More 

Thank Laura G
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Very disappointing experience with CSR at the admission desk named Alice. We have a membership at our local zoo at home which qualifies us for 50% off admission into the Nature Center. I contacted the Nature Center via this Facebook page asking what kind of documentation I needed to take advatage of the discount admission and I was told that... More 

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Kingston, New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Nice want to spend the afternoon. Kids, including a teen, & adults had a good time. About 2-3 hr trip to see it all.

Thank Jen0719
sparks nv
Level Contributor
234 reviews
99 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

This is not a large place. Animals here cannot be returned to the wild. But, the enclosures are just lovely for the animals and we got good views of all of them. We had two young boys with us who were thrilled with the whole thing. Very informative and organized well. The whole thing can be seen in around 2... More 

Thank fiddlestogo
Etowah, North Carolina
Level Contributor
67 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We went to the Nature Center with our daughter and grand daughter today. What a pleasant outing. It is suited even for toddlers! Great shaded areas, benches and ramps. We will be back!

Thank K F
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We used to take our kids there 20 years ago... now back with the Grandkids.. the layout and the habitats are beautiful with animal friendly design... even the animals seem to love it which is, its a "zoo" you can feel good about.

Thank MArktheArch1
Tampa, FL
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We had a quick morning to fill during our week vacation in North Carolina. I didn't expect much from our visit, but it turned into one of the highlights of the trip! Kids absolutely loved it. The outdoor exhibits were our favorite. The otters, wolves, fox, etc. It was really cold so the bear wasn't out so we will have... More 

Thank KimandChrisTampa_FL
twin cities
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The way this place is set up is so respectful of animals. There are many exhibits and "talks" by the staff while you are wandering around.

Thank honeypieTwinCities
FriendsofWNCNC, Manager at Western North Carolina Nature Center, responded to this review

Thank you for the wonderful review! We are glad you had a great visit! More 

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Questions & Answers

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?