Come And See Us

Hours-Directions-Etc. Cover

Front gate of Carolina Raptor Center. Photo by Michele Miller Houck.

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For most of the year, the Raptor Trail is open 7 days a week to visitors. Check our calendar for weekly offerings and special events. Ticket prices vary but many scheduled events are FREE with regular admission.

Hours of Operation - **We are now operating under Winter Hours**

Spring, Summer, and Fall Hours (March - October)
Monday through Saturday 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday Noon-5 pm

Winter Hours (November - February)
Closed Monday and Tuesday
Wednesday through Saturday 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday Noon-5 pm

Closed: Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day

Admission Fees 

$12 - Adults
$10 - Seniors, Teachers, Military Adults
$8  - Students 4 and Older with Student ID
Free – Children 3 and Under and Members
For Free Admission for One Year Investigate Annual Membership


Please Note our Eagle Aviary is CLOSED for Nesting Season staring Saturday, November 12, 2016 until 2017

Please see this note from our Curator of Birds and Programs, Natalie Childers:

At Carolina Raptor Center we are incredibly blessed to have two bald eagles that have actively nested for many years. We've been through a lot of ups and downs with Derek and Savannah and are working constantly to improve our best practices and give them the best chance possible of a successful nesting season. The past few years have been a disappointment for many as our lovely couple has not had eggs that have hatched, while in the past we've had several young raised and released back out into the wild through the use of our hack tower. Following their own unsuccessful nesting season with 2 clutches last season, we were incredibly fortunate and honored to be asked by Dan Nicholas Park, the state, and US fish and wildlife service to foster the eaglet hatched in captivity  in Salisbury, NC. As a curator the choice to put in a baby eagle with Derek and Savannah was not without risks, but they proved to be fantastic parents and adopted the young one as their own. This eagle, named Freedom, was successfully reared and released back out into the wild and is currently part of a tracking program to study the migration habits of young bald eagles.

Though we do not interfere with the nesting process of Derek and Savannah to any major degree, we do try to set up their captive environment in such a way that they have the best chance at success as possible. Since October 31st the couple has not been shifted out of their private quarters into the large Eagle Aviary for public viewing; around this time they had started to show courtship  behavior that included adding foliage to their current nest site. At this time our bird care staff gave them additional greenery and branches to add to their nest, and we continue to do this every few days as unobtrusively as possible.

Within the past couple of days Derek and Savannah have been spending more and more time in and around their nest. Our other group of bald eagles, affectionately known as "The Bachelors" to our keepers, have been showing increased interest along the perimeter of Derek and Savannah's private enclosure. This is not unusual behavior as young bald eagles in the wild will often try to take the place of older adult males but in terms of our captive birds we are trying to keep disturbances to the mated pair to a minimum. For all of these reasons we have made the decision to close the Aviary to the public for the duration of our nesting season, beginning Saturday November 12th. This Friday, Veteran's Day, will be the last day our display golden and bald eagles will be viewable to the public from our raptor trail until late Winter/early Spring.

We are hopeful that keeping the disturbances and noise levels around the aviary to a minimum will give Derek and Savannah the time and space to have a successful 2016/2017 nesting season.  Be sure to follow Carolina Raptor Center and Savannah Eagle on facebook for updates as the season progresses. Thank you so much for your understanding and support of Carolina Raptor Center and our bald eagles.


Directions to Carolina Raptor Center, 6000 Sample Road, Huntersville, NC 28078

From the North: Statesville/Winston Salem

Take I-77 South to exit 25 - Sam Furr Road. Turn right off of the exit toward Birkdale Village. Continue 2.5 miles and take a left at the light on Beatties Ford Road. In approximtely 4 miles, turn right at Sample Road. Carolina Raptor Center is located inside Latta Plantation Nature Preserve at 6000 Sample Road. Facility is on the left. First entrance for Raptor Hospital and injured birds. Second entrance for visitors and the public.

From the South: Charlotte and South Carolina

Take I-77 North to exit 16B -- Sunset Road (west). Merge into traffic on Sunset Road. Drive 1/2 mile and turn right at the light on Beattie’s Ford Road. Drive approximately 6 miles and turn left on Sample Road.  Carolina Raptor Center is located inside Latta Plantation Nature Preserve at 6000 Sample Road. Facility is on the left. First entrance for Raptor Hospital and injured birds. Second entrance for visitors and the public.

From the East: Concord and Monroe

Take I-485 North – Outer Loop to Harris Blvd – Exit 14. Right on Harris Boulevard. Left at the light on Mount Holly Huntersville Road. Drive 1/2 mile and turn right on Beatties Ford Road. Drive approximately 2 miles and turn left on Sample Road. Carolina Raptor Center is located inside Latta Plantation Nature Preserve at 6000 Sample Road. Facility is on the left. First entrance for Raptor Hospital and injured birds. Second entrance for visitors and the public.

From the West: Gastonia and Spartanburg

Take I-85 to I-485 North towards Huntersville to exit 21 -- Harris Boulevard. Left on Harris Boulevard. Drive 1/2 mile and take a left at the light on Mount Holly Huntersville Road. Drive 1/2 mile and turn right on Beatties Ford Road. Drive approximately 2 miles and turn left on Sample Road. Carolina Raptor Center is located inside Latta Plantation Nature Preserve at 6000 Sample Road. Facility is on the left. First entrance for Raptor Hospital and injured birds. Second entrance for visitors and the public.

See Google Maps for more info about directions.

Service Animal/Pet Guidelines - NEW! 

Carolina Raptor Center welcomes visitors with disabilities who use service animals as determined by the American’s with Disabilities Act. Guests using service animals can check in with our visitor services staff in the gift shop and be provided with all the information needed to have an enjoyable visit to our center. Along with information about our center, guests with service animals will receive a map outlining what areas (if any) are restricted at this time to your service animal. At this time, personal pets are not permitted on Raptor Center grounds. Latta Plantation Nature Preserve is pet friendly, but please do not plan on visiting Carolina Raptor Center after hiking or walking with your pet. We have a very strong "no pets left in cars or in our parking lot" procedure that we enforce if guests plan on still coming to Carolina Raptor Center. 

The natural instinct of birds in the wild, even predatory species such as raptors, is to be fearful of larger animals, including canines. Carolina Raptor Center’s keepers and trainers are working actively with the animals in our collection to avoid adverse reactions to outside animals, but there are some birds who will still react strongly and negatively to the presence of a dog or service animal around their enclosure. It is for this reason that a few areas on our grounds may be  restricted to you and your service animal. This currently includes our free-flight shows and some areas that take guests into our hospital and behind the scenes. 

If you notice a bird reacting negatively to the presence of your animal, i.e. flying about in a panicked way, clinging to the sides of an enclosure, panting due to stress, etc., please move along to the next enclosure and alert a staff member or volunteer. We appreciate your cooperation and your assistance as we work toward making these experiences positive for all people and animals involved!

Please call our Visitor Center if you have any questions about our service animal/pet guidelines.