Highlands Nature Center was founded as the museum of the Highlands Biological Station in 1927, and was originally housed as an annex to the Hudson Library. Its present home, the Clark Foreman Museum building, was constructed between 1939 and 1941 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) using native granite from the local quarry and wormy chestnut salvaged from the Nantahala National Forest. Following a renovation in 2001, the Nature Center now offers exhibits and year-round educational programming focusing on the biodiversity of the southern Appalachian region. Programming includes pre-K-12 outreach, special events and daily activities during the summer that are open to the general public, as well as summer nature camps for ages 4 to 14. Younger campers explore the outdoors and learn about plants and animals through a variety of activities and games. Older campers conduct scientific research, develop team-building skills, and observe nature on adventure field trips into the Nantahala National Forest.    

Highlands Nature Center is a member of NC Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative.

 current hours of operation:

Highlands Nature Center Winter 2018 Hours (January 12 – May 19)

Every other Friday and Saturday (see below), 10:00am-4:00pm

Thursdays before open weekends January-March are Film Foray Nights with movies and documentaries at 6:30pm.

Nature Center Open :

January 12-13, 26-27       February 9-10, 23-24        

         March 9-10, 23-24           April 6-7, 20-21        May 4-5, 18-19

Film Forays:

Thursdays before open weekends January-February are Film Foray Nights with movies and documentaries at 6:30pm. (Call 828-526-2221 for titles.)

Films are shown in theHighlands Biological Station’s seminar room, accessed from the 6th Street entrance.

Popcorn and beverages will be available.

Jan 11, Jan 25

Feb 8, Feb 22

address and phone number:

930 Horse Cove Road / PO Box 580, Highlands, NC 28741

(828) 526-2623 

Below you will find the schedule for our daily programming and special events.  For information about school outreach programming and special events, please visit the link below in the “links” section.


What to do if you find an orphaned animal

school outreach 


summer camps

biodiversity in the southern Appalachians

nature notes

species lists:  mammals     |     amphibians     |     reptiles     |     birds