Photos courtesy of Beth Coleman.
Activities & Interests
Cradle of Forestry
The 6,500 acre Cradle of Forestry Historic Site near Brevard, North Carolina commemorates the beginning of forest conservation in the United States. On this site in 1898, Dr. Carl Schenck, chief forester for George Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate, founded the Biltmore Forest School, the first forestry school in America.
Learn About the Natural Heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountains at the Discovery Center
The Cradle of Forestry's Forest Discovery Center features interactive exhibits and a 28-minute movie - First in Forestry: Carl Schenck and the Biltmore Forest School - that premiered last year on PBS and was funded in part by a grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. Visitors can "ride" a fire fighting helicopter simulator over a forest fire, then crawl underground and see the animals that live beneath the forest floor. The Giving Tree Gift Shop is located in the center, and the Cafe at the Cradle offers visitors delicious lunches with a beautiful mountain view from the back deck.
Outdoor activities include several guided trails which lead to historical buildings, a 1915 Climax logging locomotive, and an old sawmill.
The Cradle of Forestry offers many summer programs, including the popular Songcatchers' Music Series which showcases traditional Appalachian music in an outdoor amphitheater (Sundays afternoons in July).
Click on the link below to hear a Living Traditions Moment about the origins of Forestry in America.
Hours of Operation
Mid-April through early November, open daily, 9 am - 5 pm.
- $6 for ages 12 and older
- $3 for ages 4-12
- free ages 3 and under
Hours of operation and fees are subject to change. Contact directly for most current information.
The Cradle of Forestry is located on US Hwy. 276 in the Pisgah National Forest, just 14 miles northeast of Brevard, NC. The Cradle of Forestry is between 30-45 miles away from the towns of Asheville, Hendersonville, and Waynesville and only four miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway (look for signs to the Cradle of Forestry near milepost #411).
Cradle of Forestry
- Pink Beds (1 mile)
The Pink Beds, near Brevard, NC is a lush area of cove forests named for the profusion of wildflowers that appears in the spring.
- Graveyard Fields (4 miles)
Stunning waterfalls and a distinctive landscape make Graveyard Fields a favorite hiking area in the North Carolina mountains.
- Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education (5 miles)
The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, near Brevard, NC, offers unique exhibits and programs on wildlife and mountain habitats.