Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site and Events

The Cradle of Forestry in America is a 6,500 acre heritage site within the Pisgah National Forest. Congress set the Cradle aside to commemorate the beginning of forest conservation in the United States. The Cradle of Forestry tells the story of the Biltmore Forest School, the first forestry school in the US, and the beginnings of scientific forestry in America. The Forest Discovery Center celebrates conservation history with a new 28 minute film “First in Forestry: Carl Schenck and the Biltmore Forest School.”  The center also has an interactive exhibit hall, the Giving Tree Gift Shop, and the Cradle Cafe. Two interpretive trails, a Forest Discovery Trail, seven historic buildings, a 1915 Climax logging locomotive, an old sawmill, and numerous crafters all bring Western North Carolina’s past to life. The USDA Forest Service and the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association (CFAIA) have jointly managed the Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site since 1972.

Cradle of Forestry 2017 Events:

April 8 Opening Day/Old Time Plowing & Folkways
April 29 Migratory Bird Day celebration
May  6
Garden Day at the Cradle
May 20 Pink Beds BioBlitz & National Public Lands Day (FREE DAY!)
May 27
Bogs, Bugs and Beavers – guided walks
May 29 Butterfly Bonanza & Book Signing
June 10 National Get Outdoors Day (FREE DAY!)
June 17 Firefly Twilight Tour – Evening Public Program
June 24 Bug Day & National Pollinator Week Celebration
July  2 Songcatchers Music Series *
July 8 Winged Creatures of the Night *
July 9 Songcatchers Music Series*
July TBD Train History Day (pending)
July 16 Songcatchers Music Series
July 23 Songcatchers Music Series *
July 30 Songcatchers Music Series*
August 5 Smokey Bear’s Birthday Celebration *
August 12 May the Forest Be With You 
September 9 Afternoon Tea with Llamas
TBD Bring Back the Monarchs
 September 30 National Public Lands Day
October 7 Forest Festival Day & Intercollegiate Woodsman’s Meet
October 14  Camping in the Old Style
October 20 & 21 The Legend of Tommy Hodges Outdoor Drama *


* Indicate Special Events Admission – $6/Adults, $3/ages 4-15 and ATB Passholders

Woodsy Owl’s Curiosity Club is a nature program series for youth ages 4-7 which is hosted on Thursdays from June 8- August 3 from 10:30 – noon and 1:30 – 3:00. Please make sure to indicate which class your child will be attending.  Cost is $4 per child and accompanying adults are admitted to the Cradle Site at half price ($2.50).  Prior registration is required.  To sign up please call 828-877-3130. During the winter season (November-April), please call 828-884-5713 x221.

Junior Forester Program explores more advanced concepts of the outdoor world, including lessons on navigation and understanding ecosystems and natural processes. For youth ages 8-12, hosted at the Cradle site on Wednesdays from June 7-August 2 from 10:30 – 12:30. Cost is $4 per child and accompanying adults are admitted to the Cradle site at half price ($2.50). Prior registration is required. To sign up please call 828-877-3130. During the winter season (November-April), please call 828-884-5713 x221.