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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
Love the otters! Nice place to hike

The animals were active, the summer interns/ young zookeepers were not attentive to visitors. I... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Jennifer R
Not as big as I thought but interesting!

We thought this was going to a be a bigger place. It is very easy to walk although there are some... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Read all 599 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” (64 reviews)
“small zoo” (19 reviews)
Closed 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 (599)
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1 - 10 of 595 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

The animals were active, the summer interns/ young zookeepers were not attentive to visitors. I still have no idea if you are allowed to go inside the petting zoo. It was an okay activity on a hot day because of the tree cover. Pricing was...More

Thank Jennifer R
Reviewed 2 days ago

We thought this was going to a be a bigger place. It is very easy to walk although there are some steep hills. This facility seems to be geared more towards children but as two adults, we still enjoyed it. The staff was very friendly!

Thank Mindyloowho
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Have owned a vacation home in this area for many years and had never visited this delightful small zoological/nature park. Went with several friends to an evening "Brews and Bears" event, and, despite the heat, we all loved it! The enclosures are very well done,...More

1  Thank Linda J
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

I brought my 6 yr old for the first time today and she had a blast. The animals were out and playing and she got to watch the otters eat lunch. We will for sure be back and I will recommend this place to everyone.

Thank Troy N Katie C
Reviewed 6 days ago

This is a small zoo, geared towards children. That being said, it was a wonderful way to spend a few hours time. The habitats are well set up and the animals are cleared content. All of the info placards are clear and informative. The otter...More

Thank tawny1956
Reviewed 1 week ago

We spent three glorious hours at the nature preserve. The animals were accessible and easily spotted. The paths were generally appropriate for a stroller. There were ample areas to sit and relax.

Thank Ken F
Reviewed 1 week ago

Small lbut food views of creatures. Pleasant setting. Educational and interesting. Well worth a visit and support.

1  Thank LaceyGreen
Reviewed 1 week ago

Me and my daughter go here all the time. She loves the Otters! Super reasonable prices for families...not a whole lot to see, but enough for a couple hours of fun. They have beautiful walking trails. I just wish they maybe had a few animal...More

Thank Heather M
Reviewed 1 week ago

Typically I don't like "zoos" b/c of the way the animals are treated. The facility makes a great effort the ensure the animals aren't bored and stay engaged. I had fun "mining for gems" at the gift shop. Make sure your wear your comfy shoes,...More

Thank J S
Reviewed 1 week ago

The Nature Center is fantastic! We saw cougars, wolves, a bobcat, owls, and lots of snakes. Unlike many zoos, we were able to get really close. I highly recommend the visit. Great place and good value.

Thank Gabe S
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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.