The Cradle of Forestry Historic Site near Brevard commemorates the beginning of forest conservation in America. 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 the U.S.
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.
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.
$6 for ages 12 and older
$3 for ages 4-12
Free for ages 3 and under
$3 for America the Beautiful Pass and Golden Age Passport holders.
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).