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 barnyard area. Please bear with us while we make improvements for our animals and guests!

Get Out and GOAT!

With 2024 being an election year, we thought we’d do our civic duty and Get Out and GOAT! Join the Friends of the WNC Nature Center for its 4th Annual Running of the Goats 5k & Nature Walk on Sunday, April 21, 2024!

Run WILD while supporting the animals you love! Nature Center goats Roddy, Bryan, Swiss and Alpine, and Bill and Ted can’t wait to cheer you on as you race to be the Greatest Of All Time!

USATF Course Certification NC23007DF

Registration Options

Chip-timed 5K

Run or walk the 3.1 mile course, which starts and ends at the WNC Nature Center. Begin your journey by catching a glimpse of the goats, bears, birds, and otters before heading out on a rolling, paved course. 7:30 am start

Nature Walk

Opt to walk only inside the Nature Center along a paved route and see more animals waking up to start their day. Your self-guided tour will include fun, nature-related prompts, animal stations, and activities along the path. 7:35 to 7:45 am start

Virtual 5K Run/Walk

Participate at any time in any location with the virtual option, and still get our awesome shirt and a guest pass in the mail!

Prefer to volunteer at one of the most fun events of the year?! Email Lynn at
Volunteers will receive a free shirt or pollinator plant!

Post-Race Party, Contests, and Swag

Celebrate after the race with our vendors and sponsors, music provided by Mix 96.5, and water and snacks!
Your race bib gets you free entry to the WNC Nature Center on race day.

5K Race Winners

We'll have trophies and additional prizes for our race winners!

Categories include:
- Top 3 (M/F) overall
- Top 3 (M/F) Masters
-Top 3 (M/F) for ages
0-12, 13-18, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+

Costume Contest

There's no better way to run wild than in an animal costume! Last year, we had human owls, chickens, giraffes, sloths, and (of course) goats join us!

Costume winners will receive prizes for their animal instinct when it comes to looking fierce!

Fundraising "Meet & Bleat"

Help the Friends raise money by creating your own fundraising page and inviting your herd to support you!

Top fundraisers will be entered to win a special “Meet and Bleat” encounter with all the goats that call the WNC Nature Center home!

Race Swag

Grab your swag and carb-load the weekend of the race at nearby Highland Brewing or the Nature Center. You can still register during pre-event packet pickup on Friday, April 19 from 4-7 pm at Highland Brewing and on Saturday, April 20 from 12-4 pm at the Nature Center (Upper-Level Education Building).