Highlands Biological Station buildings remain closed to visitors with the exception of limited visitor hours for the Nature Center.  HBS Botanical Garden trails remain open, and in accordance with University policy masks and physical distancing are required on the HBS campus.  Highlands Biological Station currently plans to offer academic and public programming in summer 2021, observing University mandated Covid-19 safety protocols.  For the safety of the HBS summer community, before being permitted to work or study at HBS prospective summer students, teaching faculty, and researchers must provide documentation of (1) having received a Covid-19 vaccine or (2) a negative Covid-19 test taken within 3 days of planned arrival.  Please see the HBS website for full summer 2021 Covid-19 safety policies and procedures, and bear in mind that University policy and HBS program plans are subject to change in light of developments with the pandemic this spring. 

Oconee Bell in bloom at HBS. Photo by Jason P. Love.

Visit HBS

The Highlands Biological Station is a multi-campus center of Western Carolina University, serving as a biological field station for researchers and a place of learning for everyone, including: those seeking college credit in hands-on field courses, life-long learners wishing to gain a better understanding of the ecology of the southern Appalachians through our workshops and lectures, and K-12 students that take part in our summer camps or school outreach programs.

But HBS also serves as a destination for visitors to the Highlands Plateau who wish to explore our 24 acre campus, including our Botanical Garden and our Nature Center.

 Hours: The Nature Center is currently closed due to the pandemic, but will open April 2nd. The Botanical Garden is open daily from dusk to dawn.