Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary
Blue Ridge Audubon manages this 8-acre wetland in north Asheville. In 1988, after raising over $400,000, we acquired about 4 acres in the area to protect the land from commercial development. (Read about the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary's beginnings in this article.) The Lake View Park Commission maintains ownership of the additional 4 acres. Blue Ridge Audubon and the Commission hold mutual easements that preclude the use of either property as anything other than a nature preserve.
A boardwalk allows visitors to observe birds and other wildlife in several different habitat types. In addition to providing habitat for a multitude of bird species, the sanctuary is home to many species of butterflies and dragonflies/damselflies. The Sanctuary is open from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year although it is occasionally closed for maintenance. Sorry, no dogs allowed!
After four years of planning, we completed a series of improvements to the Sanctuary in 2013. The boardwalk now makes a complete loop that is disability accessible. There is a new gathering space for groups, as well as expanded lake overlooks. New interpretive signs help visitors understand how special the sanctuary is to the birds that use its habitats. New fencing and signs guide joggers and walkers around the sanctuary perimeter, allowing the interior to remain an area of quiet for birds and people.
In the words of former BRAC President Tom Tribble:
"The Sanctuary is truly a haven and a place for reflection. If you have never been there, please visit - to enjoy a quiet walk in the early morning, to sit at an overlook and watch the sunset over the lake, to climb the 'people' tree and read a book, or to marvel at the appearance of a warbler in the midst of a long migration from her breeding ground in Canada to her winter home in South America."
You can read Tom's informative and entertaining article, "A Year of Birding at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary," by clicking here.
Blue Ridge Audubon hosts bird outings at the Sanctuary on the first Saturday of every month. From April to September, the walks begin at 8:00 am, and from October to March, they begin at 9:00 am. We meet at the gazebo on the south end of the lake. Check out our events calendar and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on scheduled bird walks!
Want to lend a hand?
Blue Ridge Audubon takes pride in the fact that the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary is welcoming to everybody and every body. The following note illustrates how important the Sanctuary is to visitors with disabilities:
"My daughter, wife and I recently visited my son in Asheville, and, as we always do, we went to Beaver Lake, your bird sanctuary, and enjoyed a Christmas day walk. It is one of my favorite places to visit in Asheville, because I can actually get out in nature with my wheelchair and see/hear birds and butterflies and squirrels! I love it! Thank you for having the boardwalk so that people with disabilities can get out and appreciate what nature has to offer."
-Ed Leathers (photo by Mrs. Leathers)