The Ultimate Guide To Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains
The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & the Western North Carolina Mountains

The Online Version of the Best-selling Regional Guidebook

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Bird Watching

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The mountains of Western North Carolina are a bird watcher's paradise and since they cover regions of unspoiled territory, farmlands and woodlands, seeing birds is no problem but finding the best bird watching sites can be a bit tricky.  The best resource to solve this dilemma is the NC Wildlife Resources Commission North Carolina Birding Trail. The trail is divided into three sections with the Mountains section obviously covering our region. From their website you may order trail guides which will help you greatly in planning your outings.  The trail physically links great bird watching sites and birders with communities, businesses and other local historical and educational attractions. Efforts to develop the North Carolina Birding Trail began in October 2003. As of summer 2009, the Trail is now complete across the entire state - coastal plain, piedmont, and mountain regions. 

In Asheville, the North Carolina Arboretum (a site on the North Carolina Birding Trail) offers great bird watching, as does the Blue Ridge Parkway which runs through Asheville. The Western North Carolina Nature Center, located in Asheville, is also a place of interest if you are a bird watcher. In north Asheville, off of Merrimon Avenue, is the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary, known locally as a great bird watching site also. From downtown follow Merrimon Avenue north about two miles, and begin watching for the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary on your left. After you pass the North Asheville Public Library, look for stone pillars at a pair of driveways leading to the Sanctuary parking lot.

Wild & Furry Animals of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, by Lee James Pantas

In Hendersonville, one of the best sites for bird watching is Jackson Park, arguably one of the finest migration spots in North Carolina, with a wide range of habitats being represented in the park's 317 acres. In late September it is possible to see over 70 bird species as they pass through the park on their way south.
801 Glover Street, Hendersonville NC 28792
Directions: From I-26 Eastbound from Asheville and take U.S. 64 West exit (Exit # 18 B ) towards downtown Hendersonville . Continue through the traffic light at end of exit ramp onto 4 Seasons Boulevard (U.S. 64) for 1.6 miles (passing 4 more traffic lights). After a wetland area on the left, turn left at the 5th traffic light (Harris Street). Go 0.2 mile to stop sign at end of street. Turn left onto E. 4th Avenue, enter park and follow road to Administration Building (red-brick house on left) and parking.

Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society (Asheville Chapter):  PO Box 18711, Asheville NC 28814; see website for local phone numbers 
North Carolina Birding Trail: North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, 1722 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699; 919-604-5183.
Mountains Region NC Birding Trail: List of 105 great birding sites in Western North Carolina;  919-604-5183.
Wild Birds Unlimited: Great birding and nature store in Asheville. 1997 Hendersonville Road, Asheville NC 28803; 828-687-9433.



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