Western North Carolina Nature Center, 4 mi. e. on SR 81 to 75 Gashes Creek Rd., contains indoor and outdoor exhibits of southern Appalachian plant and animal life on a 42-acre site. Conservation initiatives include breeding programs for red wolves, cougars and North American river otters. Other animals include freshwater fish, snakes, deer, bears, raccoons, foxes, gray wolves, turtles and farm stock. The center also has an aviary, a petting zoo and a .6-mile nature trail.