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Western North Carolina Nature Center

#13 of 192 things to do in Asheville Features Animals
75 Gashes Creek Rd, Asheville, NC 28805-2529
+1 828-259-8080
Review Highlights
It Was OK

Ok to visit once. Not like a zoo that one could back again again. Needs for signage. Great for... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Asheville, North Carolina
Animal park

This was a great place to visit. Very clean and well kept.The animals were in natural habitats.They... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
Jody B
via mobile
Read all 611 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” (66 reviews)
“small zoo” (20 reviews)
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 10:00 - 17:00
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
75 Gashes Creek Rd, Asheville, NC 28805-2529
+1 828-259-8080
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Reviews (611)
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1 - 10 of 607 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

Ok to visit once. Not like a zoo that one could back again again. Needs for signage. Great for toddlers and older.

Thank namaste1995
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

This was a great place to visit. Very clean and well kept.The animals were in natural habitats.They also have trails to hike.

Thank Jody B
Reviewed 1 week ago

My kids are 15 and 16 now. We have been taking them here since they were 7 months and 22 months old. They STILL ask us to take them, only now they can drive :-) We go for special events, and on chilly fall and...More

Thank Colleen Q
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

It's a rather small center but has a nice variety of animals. Lots of pathways and bridges. I like the pathways above the enclosures so you can see animals better. Perfect for little kids to run around. It's free if you have a membership at...More

Thank Olga C
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

A place where I volunteered and was on the Board.... incredible upgrades on the grounds and habitats! Did not realize it was one of the few AZA approved parks in NC!!! Very reasonable and a great place to spend the day!! Educational and a fun...More

Thank JJGranados
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This center is well organized and easy to maneuver with small children. The center features a nice variety of animals indigenous to the area, visible in settings similar to their natural habitats. We were there mid-day on a very hot day so many of the...More

Thank N T
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We have had family season passes for a couple years. Our grandchildren love it and we can easily spend 3 to 4 hours there. There is a lot of local wild life (bears, wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, wild cats, foxes, reptiles, amphibians, birds, etc). I...More

Thank Everett B
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Wonderful way to see some of the area's indigenous wildlife. My wife, our two college kids, and I spent a few leisurely hours at the Nature Center and really enjoyed the experience. Seeing the black bears, river otters, and cougars was a bonus, but the...More

Thank Dan H
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I went with my young children Bob and Suzy and we loved it! There was a great diversity of animals(deers,cougars,bobcats). My family's favorite part would definitely be the precious bobcat. He didn't just look adorable, he also played!all in all, this is I great ,cheap...More

Thank Hermoine G
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I loved this place. They have a great selection of American animals that most zoos don't have. Before coming here I had never seen a cougar because most zoos only do foreign animals and rarely any native animals. I loved seeing the bears lumbering around,...More

Thank Jennifer R
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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.