Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary

BRAC 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. BRAC 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.

After four years of planning, BRAC completed a series of improvements to the Sanctuary in 2013. The boardwalk now makes a complete loop that is handicapped 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 EMAS 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.

Bird Walks

BRAC hosts bird walks 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?

Work Days at the Sanctuary​

We welcome volunteers to join us as we pick up trash, remove non-native invasive plants, and do other maintenance at the Sanctuary. Please contact us if you would like to help!

Adopt-a-Plot Program​

Through this program, we hope to empower those who love the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary to care for and maintain their "own" section of the Sanctuary.

EMAS takes pride in the fact that the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary is welcoming to all people. 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)

Formerly the Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society, Blue Ridge Audubon is a chapter of the National Audubon Society, serving Buncombe, Henderson, and surrounding counties in western North Carolina.

Our mission is to protect birds and the places they depend on. We believe that a world in which birds thrive is a world that benefits all living things.


Our vision is a vibrant and just community where the protection of birds and our natural world is valued by everyone.

Blue Ridge Audubon Chapter

PO Box 18711

Asheville, NC 28814

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Blue Ridge Audubon is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.