The WNC Nature Center connects people with the animals and plants of the Southern Appalachian Mountain region by inspiring appreciation, nurturing understanding, and advancing conservation of the region’s rich biodiversity. See 60+ native species in 42 acres of award-winning habitats. Cougars, bears, otters, red wolves & more! Open 361 days. Exit at Milepost 382.5 to 75 Gashes Creek Road. (828) 259-8080.