In accordance with Western Carolina University’s policies in response to Covid-19, Highlands Biological Station is currently closed to the public with the exception of the Botanical Garden trails, but does remain open to researchers and faculty on a limited basis; please contact the HBS office (828-526-2602) for information on reservations, rates, and Covid-19 policies.  We currently plan to offer our field courses, workshops, Grant-in-Aid program, and HBS Nature Center programs in summer 2021, with Covid-19 safety protocols in place (TBA).​ Please bear in mind, however, that University policy and HBS program plans are subject to change in light of developments with the pandemic this winter and spring, and those interested in attending HBS courses or programs or utilizing HBS facilities in spring or summer 2021 should check the HBS website regularly for updates.

Events at the Highlands Biological Station

While the primary responsibility of the Highlands Biological Station is to further research and education, our location is a unique and magical place that holds a special place in the hearts and minds of locals and travelers alike. 

Throughout the year we host a number of events that help to financially support the three pillars of the Highlands Biological Station: The Nature Center, Botantical Garden and Laboratory through the Highlands Biological Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Your participation allows for the care and expansion of the Botanical Garden’s plant collection, improvements to the exhibits and programs of the Nature Center and support for the research and education conducted through the Laboratory.

Upon request, we can permit small meetings, weddings, and other gatherings on the Station grounds, with a modest fee attached. To reserve space at Highlands Biological Station for a private function, please contact us at 828.526.2602.

Zahner Conservation Lecture Series

One of the Station’s most enduring traditions, weekly summer lectures. Every summer the Highlands Nature Center hosts evening lectures focused on the theme of natural history and conservation.

Summer Soiree

This annual two-day themed event in the summer explores the Highlands Plateau in a whole new way. Enjoy an educational lecture followed areception with food, drinks and more.

Highlands on the Half Shell

Join us for our annual Cajun celebration at the Highlands Biological Station. Feast on steamed oysters, gumbo and jambalaya under a canopy of flame-colored fall leaves.

Station Workshops

Throughout the year the Highlands Biological Station hosts workshops open to all audiences for personal and professional development. Guest lecturers join us to cover a variety of nature, science, art, topics.