Asheville NC Vacation The Ultimate Vacation Destination
  • Mar

    Established during the Great Depression as a conventional zoo with exotic animals such as elephants, monkeys & lions, the 42 acre WNC Nature Center owned by the City of Asheville NC was re-opened in 1977 to exclusively showcase the native Southern Appalachian wildlife and their habitats.  Voted “the Best Place to take Kids in Western North Carolina,” it is a fabulous place for kids (and adults!) to learn in a fun & entertaining environment.  The Nature Center has cougars, bobcats, wolves, foxes, bears, deer, raccoons, snakes, snapping turtles, otters, birds, fish and other many other species native to our Appalachian mountain region.  It’s beautiful to wander the hilly terrain nature paths to see all the animals in their spacious natural habitat enclosures (not cages!).  There is a delightful petting zoo at the farm educational center for the kids as well.  Go often to see the ever changing seasonal special exhibits.

    As stated on their website:  “The WNC Nature Center is a living museum of plants and animals native to the Appalachian region. Our purpose is to increase public awareness and understanding of all aspects of the natural environment of Western North Carolina through hands-on and sensory experiences.  One of our primary objectives here at the WNC Nature Center is to provide both children and adults with the opportunity to interact with and learn more about animals and plants in our environment, thereby increasing their appreciation and understanding of nature.

    Open 7 days a week year-round, except for major holidays, from 10 AM to 5 PM.  There is a nominal admission charge.  Children under the age of 16 must be accompanies by an adult. 

    Location: 75 Gashes Creek Rd, Asheville, NC 28805  (828) 298-5600   DIRECTIONS:
    From Interstate 40, take exit 53B to Interstate 240.  Take exit #8.  At the light take a right.  At the bottom of the hill, take a right onto Swannanoa River Road.  Then right on Gashes Creek Road.  Look for the WNC Nature Center signs along the way.

    WNC Nature Center’s Website:   

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