New entrance opens at WNC Nature Center

Rendering of WNC Nature Center's new front entrance, 2018.


ASHEVILLE — The WNC Nature Center welcomed guests into its new front entrance Sept. 12. Have you been out there to see it yet?

“We’re excited to offer this enhanced guest experience to our visitors,” said Chris Gentile, Director of the WNC Nature Center. “The new front entrance will allow us to better serve our growing number of guests with smoother check in, enhanced parking, a separate entrance for school groups and the use of the Festiva Event Plaza for events.”

The WNC Nature Center broke ground on the front entrance project in 2017. Improvements include handicapped parking and ramp, sidewalks through parking for safety, new guest restrooms, an events plaza and new exhibits. Guests will now be able to enter the WNC Nature Center’s main grounds through the barn area, where they can visit the new chicken habitat, Virginia the opossum and more.

The center will be open for normal business hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., when it reopens on Wednesday. The first 50 families in the door will receive a free water bottle from the Friends of the WNC Nature Center to celebrate the opening of the new front entrance.

A ribbon cutting to celebrate the new entrance is scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 1 during the Nature Center’s popular Winter’s Tail event.

This project was funded by the City of Asheville and the Friends of the WNC Nature Center with support from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority’s Tourism Product Development Fund and from Festiva. Other contributors to the project include charitable foundations, businesses and many generous individual donors.


About the WNC Nature Center

Asheville’s 42-acre WNC Nature Center is at 75 Gashes Creek Road. The center is home to over 60 species of animals, including river otters, black bears, red and gray wolves and cougars. A red panda exhibit is under construction.

For more information, visit or call 828-259-8080.