WNC Nature Center to reopen Oct. 5

Red pandas
WNC Nature Center visitors will once again be able to see the center's 2 red pandas, Leafa and Phoenix.


Pre-opening for members only begins Sept. 28


The City of Asheville Parks & Recreation department is very pleased to announce the reopening of the WNC Nature Center to the general public on Oct. 5.


Visitors will notice a few changes since their last visit. To ensure the safety of the public, staff, and the resident animals that call the WNC Nature Center home, indoor exhibits will remain closed. Enhanced cleaning protocols will be in place. Guests should wear face coverings, and signage throughout the facility will remind everyone to maintain distance between themselves and others. 


To meet public health guidelines, the gift shop will be located in the barn. Visitors will not have the opportunity to make contact with any of the animals at this time. Visit www.wildwnc.org for more information about what to expect when visiting the Nature Center.  


The public is encouraged to purchase their tickets online prior to their visit, though reservations or timed entry are not required.  Tickets will be available for sale at the Nature Center entrance by card purchase only. Cash will not be accepted.


Upon reopening, the Nature Center will be open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. with last admission at 3:30 p.m. Admission is $10.95 for adults, $9.95 for seniors, and $6.95 for children ages 3 to 15 (plus tax). Asheville residents receive a discounted rate with local ID and children under the age of 3 are free. 


Members of the Friends of the WNC Nature Center are invited to visit during a “pre-opening” members-only week, Sept. 28 through Oct. 4. Current members will have their memberships extended for the time the Center was closed. Want to join the members-only week but don’t have a membership? Purchase one online at www.wildwnc.org/membership or contact the Friends of the WNC Nature Center at 828-259-8092. 


The City of Asheville’s 42-acre WNC Nature Center, at 75 Gashes Creek Road, is home to over 60 species of animals native to the Southern Appalachian Mountain region. Its mission is to connect people to the area’s natural resources and to advance conservation of native species.  The Nature Center is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums — the gold standard for animal care and welfare.  

For more information about the WNC Nature Center or to purchase tickets or a membership, visit wildwnc.org or call 828-259-8080.