We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Western North Carolina Nature Center

Features Animals
Closed Now: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Open today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Review Highlights
Fantastic Afternoon

We loved this place. With a teenager and three kids under 10, this nature center kept all of us... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
via mobile
Wonderful day in nature learning about animals

What a beautiful grounds and facility! I was really impressed with WNC. The walkways throughout the... read more

Reviewed 13 December 2018
London, Canada
Read all 703 reviews
All photos (278)
Full view
Certificate of Excellence
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent58%
  • Very good31%
  • Average9%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“petting zoo”(68 reviews)
“native animals”(20 reviews)
“otter feeding”(17 reviews)
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...more
Closed Now
Hours Today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
See all hours
Suggested duration: 1-2 hours
75 Gashes Creek Rd, Asheville, NC 28805-2529
+1 828-259-8080
Improve This Listing
Recommended experiences in and around Asheville
from US$ 109.00
More Info
from US$ 19.99
More Info
from US$ 59.50
More Info
from US$ 80.00
More Info
Reviews (703)
Filter reviews
698 results
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviews petting zoo native animals otter feeding red wolves great place to take the kids river otters kids and adults whole family all ages the barn north carolina few hours couple hours great place to visit spend an afternoon on display bears
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 698 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Although to call it a zoo is a bit of a stretch,it did have a decent selection of animals,although whether or not you see them is hit or miss.The big cats were asleep and the bears didnt come out,but the otters were active as were...More

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank tojo72
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We loved this place. With a teenager and three kids under 10, this nature center kept all of us engaged. Well with the entrance price.

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank heatheriseminger
Reviewed 13 December 2018

What a beautiful grounds and facility! I was really impressed with WNC. The walkways throughout the grounds are almost all covered in shade thanks to extremely tall trees. It had a very natural feel to it, unlike many other nature centres with animals. It was...More

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank trvlwrldgrl
Reviewed 3 December 2018

River otters, wolves, owls, and more - but the bear was hiding again. My husband and I visit the WNC Nature Center every time we're in Asheville and we always enjoy it - especially watching the river otters swim and play. This time it was...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank MLMpoohbear
Reviewed 12 November 2018

Great place to visit with young children. Well laid out with a trail to follow where you can see a nice selection of wild animals. There are also several interactive activities for young children alon the way. Lions and tigers and bears! Plan to spend...More

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank Steve K
Reviewed 29 October 2018

We went in the morning around 10am.. Animals including the bears & wolves were moving freely in a clean adaptive environment.This is not zoo.. Took about 1 1/2 hr to easily walk the paved paths. Service people were informative and available for questions.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank IMHunter
Reviewed 9 October 2018 via mobile

So this place is really nice, it’s got really cool animals, and they certainly have a great plan for the future. But it would have been nice to have a little cafe here, so there was somewhere to eat and drink, and also the construction...More

Date of experience: October 2018
1  Thank JHofstetter
Reviewed 8 October 2018 via mobile

Wow, what a great place! Visited a on Sunday afternoon and was shocked how slow it was. Brought three kids ranging from ages 2-6 and they all liked it. The park was clean, shady, and well-maintained. The animal enclosures were spacious and the animals looked...More

Date of experience: October 2018
1  Thank Izybel18
Reviewed 1 October 2018

Lovely way to spend a morning. Enjoyed the otters, they have a fun enclosure. This was our second time visiting. Great for children.

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Sharon N
Reviewed 28 September 2018

Active military gets in free. Lots of space for the animals and lots of play areas, each different and interactive. You can't go in and pet the animals in the barn area, but if they are close to the fence you can touch them. We...More

Date of experience: May 2018
Thank WidthAdventures
View more reviews
Nearby HotelsSee all 70 nearby hotels
Ramada by Wyndham Asheville Southeast
1,222 reviews
1.77 km away
Best Western Asheville Tunnel Road
1,743 reviews
2.14 km away
Motel 6 Asheville
184 reviews
2.67 km away
Quality Inn & Suites Biltmore East
616 reviews
2.69 km away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 870 nearby restaurants
Copper Crown
165 reviews
.80 km away
East Village Grille
264 reviews
.99 km away
Pomodoros Greek & Italian East
376 reviews
.85 km away
86 reviews
.97 km away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 481 nearby attractions
Highland Brewing Company
282 reviews
1.16 km away
Troy and Sons Distillers
22 reviews
1.16 km away
Hospice Thrift Store
7 reviews
1.18 km away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
26 August 2018|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from 216beths | Reviewed this property |
We used a gps and had no issues
9 June 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from AmeriCorps M | Property representative |
Hi there! You are welcome to bring food with you into the park, there is just no food allowed near the NC Farm petting area. There are picnic tables on the mid level of the park near the gift shop cabin.
Tommy L
17 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from jelsegood | Reviewed this property |
I think most people covered that. Some animals have a tendency to sleep part of the day. They also have feeding times so check the calendar. We went mid morning and a few of the animals were on nap time.