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

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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!
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Cat’s Out of the Bag!


Just in time for area schools’ Spring Breaks, the WNC Nature Center announced that two young cougars are now on habitat! Noa and Hayla, named about the Swannanoa and Nantahala Rivers that run through Western North Carolina, are sibling cubs that were found in White Salmon, Washington. Born in the summer of 2023, they are expected to be around eight months old. In the wild, young cubs stay with their mother for up to two years, learning critical survival and hunting skills.  Because of their age, Noa and Hayla were deemed non-releasable, and the WNC Nature Center was happy to give them a home.

From July 2023 to March 2024, the empty cougar habitat was temporarily used by resident coyotes Cal and Walker. Part of the baby boom that hit the WNC Nature Center last year, Cal and Walker were two of the 19 animals that joined the Center in 2023. The majority of these new animals were babies and had been deemed non-releasable by the rehabilitators who found them. While the coyotes utilized the cougar habitat, the coyote habitat was revitalized thanks to a major donor.
“The Friends of the WNC Nature Center are so grateful to the Hoffman family for their support of the coyote habitat renovation, says Executive Director Kate Frost. “Because of their generosity, the Nature Center was able to move its animals around and update and re-vision the coyote habitat and guest experience in that area.”

Shortly after the coyotes transitioned to their new space, Noa and Hayla were able to move into the cougar habitat, which is next to the bobcat habitat. 

You can support the new cougars and all the animals that call the Nature Center home by becoming a membersymbolically adopting them, and purchasing items from the Animal Wishlist for them. If you’re interested in learning more about how your generous donation can allow the Friends of the WNC Nature Center to do even more for the animals, please email Director of Development Cindy Smith at

Become a Member

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