In accordance with Western Carolina University’s policies in response to COVID-19, the Highlands Biological Station is currently closed to the public, but is open to researchers and faculty on a limited basis. Researchers and faculty interested in reserving research and residential space should contact the HBS office (828-526-2602) for information on availability, rates, and reservations. Field courses, workshops, and HBS Nature Center programming are cancelled for the 2020 season. The HBS Botanical Gardens remain open, except for trails that are closed due to construction.


Garden Tour





Enjoy a walk through the Botanical Gardens with our knowledgeable staff, viewing beautiful native plant life in diverse habitats.


Turtle and Toad Feeding   11:30am




View our live animals at their most active— feeding time!


Mad Science




Try your hand at scientific inquiry with a brief hands-on program aimed at youth ages 7+ (younger ages are welcome with supervision).


Exploration Hike




Visit forests, streams, and other spots across our campus, experiencing unique habitats and honing your observation skills.


Turtle and Snake Feeding




View our live animals at their most active— feeding time!


Creature Feature

11:30am & 2:30pm



Experience one or more of our live animal ambassadors up close while learning about their fascinating adaptations.