North CarolinaTravel

Carolina Raptor Center – Huntersville, NC

The Carolina Raptor Center is located inside the Latta Plantation Nature Preserve in Huntersville, NC. The Nature Preserve is home to the Historic Latta Plantation living history farm, fishing, picnic areas, hiking trails, Carolina Raptor Center and the Jim Arthur Raptor Medical Center.
Carolina Raptor Center
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Carolina Raptor Center

The Carolina Raptor Center is a facility that gives you the opportunity to view the majestic raptors up close. Throughout the center you’ll learn about each birds individual stories and unique characteristics. Depending on the day, you may have the opportunity to experience one of their educational programs. and learn about the raptors individual stories and unique characteristics.Carolina Raptor Center

Upon entering the Carolina Raptor Center, you’re given a brief history as well as a map. It was interesting to learn that the Raptor Center helps with funding the Jim Arthur Raptor Medical Center, which is the largest in the world.

Once you get the map and start on your way. The approx. 3/4 mile trail has several interactive stops. The first one we arrived at was the Nature Playground. It has some really fun activities for kids of all ages. Kids can measure their wing span,Carolina Raptor Center

walk like a Vulture, and so much more.Carolina Raptor Center

There’s also a fun educational stop that shows the kids goes on at the Raptor Medical Center, and plays a rotation of short videos. It takes awhile to read it all, but it’s definitely worth it.  Just around the corner from there, is an art area. There are paper and crayons in little cubbies and the kids are encouraged to draw what they’ve seen. This was a very nice addition, and the kids enjoyed spending time there drawing their favorite raptor.Carolina Raptor Center

What about the birds?

Along the trail you’ll discover a variety of eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, vultures and corvids. They are home to 97 permanent resident birds. The trail is well marked to help point you in the right direction. You’ll also find benches along the way should you need to sit down and rest awhile.

Carolina raptor Center


It’s pretty hard to get pictures of these beautiful birds with the fence that surrounds them, but we thoroughly enjoyed learning about them. Some smaller birds Luke had a hard time seeing since his vision isn’t the best and you’re pretty far back, but he never complained.Carolina raptor center

Luke thought it was pretty cool that they had a Bald Eagle named Luke.Carolina raptor Center

The owls were a personal favorite of mine and Davis.Carolina raptor center

but it was pretty cool getting a closer look at the different vultures.Carolina raptor center

The Peregrine Falcon was Luke’s favorite for sure. He’s been fascinated with those birds since he was just a tiny little thing.Carolina raptor center
Even though our visit to the Carolina Raptor Center was through the week, we still had a wonderful time. We loved experiencing the birds up close and person, and the boys enjoyed the interactive stops along the way. To experience some of the programs that are offered, the weekends are the prime time to go. During that time, you’ll be able to spot raptors at some of the Meet and Greet stations found throughout the center.We really enjoyed our visit to the Carolina Raptor Center. Also if you decide to go on the weekend, you’ll find docents around to help answer some of the questions you may have.

Things to know

• The weekends, while a tad more crowded will give you the opportunity to learn even more. They offer Meet and Greets with different raptors, and you’ll find docents throughout to help answer your questions.

• Be sure to check the calendar for upcoming events. They have a variety of learning opportunities available: homeschool days, school programs and kids’ camps available through the year.

• The trail is nice and shaded and you’ll find benches along the way.

• If you have little ones, I would encourage a potty break before hitting the trail and checking out the birds. The only restrooms are the ones where you purchase your ticket.

• Admission: $12 Adults, $10 Seniors, Teachers, Military Adults, $8 Students 4 and Older with Student ID, Free –Children 3 and Under and Members

Carolina Raptor Center
6000 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC 28078


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