Linville, NC

The Wilson Center for Nature Discovery is all new this summer at Grandfather Mountain

benledbetter00

By BEN LEDBETTER

LINVILLE, N.C. -- Grandfather Mountain definitely has multiple attractions and it will be adding to that number this summer.

Starting in June 2022, Grandfather Mountain will have a new nature center

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Grandfather Mountain is pictured in this 2007 photo. Starting in June 2022, the new Wilson Center will be open.Wikimedia Commons

The Wilson Center for Nature Discovery is located halfway up the mountain and is near the wildlife habitats.

With the new Wilson Center, the size of the current nature museum will double and there will be more than a dozen new interactive exhibits that explore the natural history, geology and weather.

Outside there will be new spaces such as an amphitheater and a new botanical garden.

According to Grandfather Mountain, the new Wilson Center was designed by Boone-based firm Coffey Architecture and named for benefactors Bob and Susan Wilson.

For those heading to the mountain this summer, there are some items of which to be aware.

One of the items is that tickets must be purchased online. According to Grandfather Mountain, tickets usually must be purchased two to three weeks in advance.

Tickets include admission to multiple attractions such as the swinging bridge, nature center, wildlife habitats and daily programs.

Hiking trails close an hour before the park.

Costs for adult admission are $24, $22 for senior citizens and $10 for children.

As of March 12, 2022, masks are optional for guests.

Summer hours for the park are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily with the last entry at 5:30 p.m.

Weather permitting, Grandfather Mountain is open daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The park also closes early on Christmas Eve.

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Ben Ledbetter is an experienced, versatile journalist that wrote for The Sumter (S.C.) Item, The (Lexington, N.C.) Dispatch, The (Asheville, N.C.) Citizen-Times and The Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate. A graduate of UNC-Greensboro, Ledbetter later earned his MPA from the University of New Orleans. He will be covering a variety of stories in the Carolinas.

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