Open 361 Days a Year: Admissions 10:00am – 3:30pm; park closes at 4:30pm

Close this search box.

Construction is in progress around our barn. During this time, our barnyard animals will be interacting with new habitats inside and outside of the barn and receiving daily enrichment. Please bear with us while we make improvements for our animals and guests!
Learn more at

Hazel, a Rehabilitated 15lb Snapping Turtle

Snapping Turtle

A new adult Common Snapping Turtle is now living at the Nature Center – meet Hazel! Hazel was found injured (likely from a car) in Watauga County. The May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center took her in last June and spent a full year helping her recover from shell and jaw fractures among other injuries. Part of her recovery even included receiving acupuncture on a regular basis!

Hazel has healed but is unable to live on her own in the wild because she does not have full range of motion in her jaw (she can only open it about an inch) and only has sight in one eye. We are excited to welcome Hazel to her new home at the Nature Center! We think she’s about ten years old based on her size (she weighs 15 pounds!). Hazel is not yet full grown and could easily get larger in time. She is living in our turtle pond area next to the otter habitat. Next time you’re here, stop by and say hi to Hazel!

Become a Member

Become a Nature Center member today and enjoy savings and benefits!