Highlands Nature Center

Hours of Operation

Open for summer hours Friday, May 24!

 Spring hours: Friday and Saturday 10am-4pm 

Summer hours: Monday through Saturday 10am-5pm

Address

930 Horse Cove Road
Highlands, NC 28741

Phone

828.526.2623

 

Weekly Summer Programs

 

 

 

Mondays

Garden Tour

10:30am

 

 

 

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

Tuesdays

Turtle and Toad Feeding   11:30am

 

 

 

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

Wednesdays

Mad Science

2:30pm

 

 

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

Thursdays

Exploration Hike

2:30pm

 

 

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

Fridays

Turtle and Snake Feeding

11:30am

 

 

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

Saturdays

Creature Feature

11:30am & 2:30pm

 

 

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

 

Nature Center Nights

 

Salamander Meander May 24th 9:00pm-10:00pm
Kick off Highlands Nature Center’s summer season with a nighttime search for our slimy salamander friends!

 

Sunset Singers June 4th 8:00pm-9:00pm
Discover nature’s evening chorus! Learn to identify frogs, birds, and insects by their calls, and join naturalists in the Botanical Garden to look for these miniature minstrels.

 

Nocturnal Nature June 11th 9:00pm-10:00pm
Experience the night like never before: through the eyes and ears (and even noses!) of nocturnal animals! Compare your senses with our native creatures of the night.

 

Starlight Stroll June 18th 9:00pm-10:00pm
Explore the myths and mysteries of the night sky on a night stroll to Sunset Rock! Hear stories of the stars and learn to identify constellations.

 

Night Flight June 25th 9:00pm-10:00pm
Discover the nocturnal animals who take to the skies! Learn about the fascinating world of bats, owls, and even flying squirrels, then join naturalists in the Botanical Garden to seek them out.

 

A Buggy Evening July 2nd 9:00pm-10:00pm
Experience bugs in a whole new light- moonlight! Learn about the unique and beautiful world of nocturnal insects then sample for fireflies, moths, and more in the Botanical Garden.

 

Salamander Meander July 9th 9:00pm-10:00pm
Go on a nighttime search for our slimy salamander friends!

 

Sunset Singers July 16th 8:00pm-9:00pm
Discover nature’s evening chorus! Learn to identify frogs, birds, and insects by their calls, and join naturalists in the Botanical Garden to look for these miniature minstrels.

 

Nocturnal Nature July 23rd 9:00pm-10:00pm
Experience the night like never before: through the eyes and ears (and even noses!) of nocturnal animals! Compare your senses with our native creatures of the night.

 

Starlight Stroll July 30th 9:00pm-10:00pm
Explore the myths and mysteries of the night sky on a night stroll to Sunset Rock! Hear stories of the stars and learn to identify constellations.

 

Night Flight August 6th 9:00pm-10:00pm
Discover the nocturnal animals who take to the skies! Learn about the fascinating world of bats, owls, and even flying squirrels, then join naturalists in the Botanical Garden to seek them out.

 

Halloween Enchanted Forest October 29th 6:00pm-7:30pm
Celebrate Halloween the natural way! Guided tours of the Botanical Gardens will lead you trick-or-treating around the trail to meet some native animal characters.

 

About the Nature Center

 

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.

 

Explore our featured exhibits, special events and year-round school education programming that focuses on the spectacular biodiversity of the southern Appalachian region. If you would like to schedule a school program or have questions please contact Outreach at 828.526.4123.

 

 

Our address is: 930 Horse Cove Road, Highlands, NC 28741

 

  • From Cashiers, NC: Take Hwy 64 W to Highlands and turn left onto Main St. Continue straight through town. After 0.4 miles, the Nature Center will be on your left.

  • From Franklin, NC: Take Hwy 64 E (the Gorge Road) to Highlands. Hwy 64 E becomes Main Street. Continue straight through town. After 0.4 miles, the Nature Center will be on your left.

  • From Walhalla, SC: Take Hwy 28 to Highlands and turn right onto Main Street.  Continue straight through town. After 0.4 miles, the Nature Center will be on your left.

  • From Dillard, GA:  Take Hwy 106 to Highlands and turn right onto Main Street.  Continue straight through town. After 0.5 miles, the Nature Center will be on your left.

 

2019 Summer Day Camps

Kids ages 4 to 14: Explore the outdoors this summer and investigate the plants and animals of our region! Younger campers will have fun outdoors learning about plants and animals through a variety of activities and games. Older campers will conduct scientific research, develop team-building skills, and observe nature on adventure field trips.

K-12 School Outreach

Highlands Nature Center provides more than 50 different day programs for public, private, or homeschool groups in grades K-12.  Classes are designed to meet the curriculum requirements of the North Carolina science Essential Standards for each grade level, and supplement existing lessons by bringing additional resources to the classroom.