Bear in Smoky Mountain National Park, Credit: @pictiho on Instagram

Wildlife

From herds of free roaming elk to the animated antics of cute little otters, these mountains are home to hundreds of wildlife species.

  • by Jason Tarr

    Experience wildlife up close with a family-friendly adventure to the WNC Nature Center, located just 10 minutes from downtown Asheville! Among the animals you’ll see are otters, black bears, wolves and a cougar! The 42-acre wildlife park … read more

  • by Asheville Insider

    Meet Obi-Wan and Olive, two adorable North American river otters that call the WNC Nature Center home. These playful creatures are found in a wide variety of aquatic habitats and can tolerate a great range of temperature and elevations. A river … read more

  • by Del Holston

    Outings to Satisfy Your Inner Bird Nerd Flashes of red plumage in the forest canopy and a familiar song - “what-cheer, what-cheer, what-cheer” - signify the presence of a nearby Northern Cardinal. This is an easy bird to recognize, even … read more

  • by Cat Kessler

    Honey Bees Make Life Sweeter in the Mountains Asheville goes by many names, including Land of the Sky, Paris of the South, Beer City USA and also Bee City USA. That's right—Bee City, as in honey bees. Honeybee (apis mellifera) by Eran … read more

  • by Asheville Insider

    Shortly before fall in Asheville and the Great Smoky Mountains, thousands of Monarch butterflies pass through the Asheville area as they migrate south to Mexico. The butterflies travel more than 2,000 miles on their journey, and we're fortunate … read more

  • by Jacqui Castle

    Hawks Soar Over Asheville in Annual Migration Fall is a favorite time here in Western North Carolina, when the cooling weather provides ideal conditions for exploring all this area offers. The changing leaves along the Blue Ridge Parkway present a … read more

  • by Leigh Ann Henion

    Visit an Internationally Renowned Nature Preserve, Just 90 Minutes from Asheville Shakespeare is staring at me. The cleverly named barred owl is perched on the leather glove of Grandfather Mountain's head naturalist. It's as if the bird … read more

  • by Del Holston

    If you’re looking for things to do in Asheville, then consider this list your primer to the many activities available in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you’re a first-time visitor, or perhaps well acquainted with the flair of this … read more