Western North Carolina is home to many different species of Appalachian animals. Here is a small list of the animals that reside in the area.

Photo courtesy of Mark Haskett

Animal Life

Black Bear (ursus americanus)

Bear Cub_Mark haskett
The Black Bear is found throughout the mountains of North Carolina and all along the Appalachian Mountain Range. It is uncommon for a visitor to see a bear or even traces (such as paw prints), but if found they are easily identifiable.

red squirrel (tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

Red Squirrell
The red squirrel is found in upper elevations and is often referred to as a “boomer.” They are found primarily in coniferous areas and often build nests in and around trees for shelter and protection. They are often seen and heard on trials throughout the Linville area


Several different varieties of snakes inhabit the Southern Appalachian Mountains. The three most commonly spotted are the ringneck (Diadophis punctatus), the garter (Thamnophis sirtalis), and the northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon). Two venomous snakes, the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and the Timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), are also known to inhabit the region. These snakes, however, are rarely seen as they usually avoid areas frequented by humans. When visiting the area, all snakes are to be left undisturbed and observed from a safe distance.