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 new movie -- There's Magic at the Cradle -- in which a young girl learns to care for and help preserve a forest. 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. Vending machines offer a variety of refreshments for visitor convenience, including sandwiches, snacks, and beverages.
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, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.
$5 for adults (16 years old and older).
Free for youth (15 years old and under).
Free for America the Beautiful Pass and Golden Age Passport holders.
Free for everyone on Tuesdays.
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
- Old Time Music Heritage Hall (15 miles)
Working to strengthen and continue the long tradition of old-time music.
- Mount Airy (15 miles)
Mount Airy is known as "Granite City," and also as "Mayberry.
- Mount Airy Museum of Regional History (15 miles)
The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History showcases the early settlement of "The Hollows" at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains.