Cradle of Forestry in America

CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC – 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  Café at the Cradle. Two interpretive trails, a Forest Discovery Trail, seven historic buildings, a 1914 Climax logging locomotive, an old sawmill, and numerous crafters bring Western North Carolina’s past to life. The USDA Forest Service and FIND Outdoors (formally Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association) have jointly managed the Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site since 1972.

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To purchase maps and guide books to this area, please visit us online at The Forest Store.

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Hours & Fees

Currently closed. Follow this link for a list of current closures.

Open daily mid-April to early November (closed for winter)

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

$6.00 ages 13 and up
$3.00 ages 4 -12
Under 3 is FREE*
America the Beautiful passes honored

*Special event fees may apply.

Become a Friend of the Cradle of Forestry and enjoy Annual Pass benefits!


  • Three paved interpretive hiking trails, suitable for strollers and wheelchairs
  • Guided tours
  • Exhibit hall
  • Theater – be sure to watch “First in Forestry: Carl Schenck and the Biltmore Forest School.”
  • Giving Tree Gift Shop
  • Enjoy a tasty lunch at the Café at the Cradle. Sit outside on the porch or inside, it’s your choice!
  • Grab lunch from the Café at the Cradle and head over to Pink Beds for a picnic.

Location & Contact Info


11250 Pisgah Highway
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

17 miles from Brevard

*For information during the winter months, please call Clay Wooldridge at 828-884-5713 x221

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Upcoming Events


For more details and to register for events, please visit

Woodsy Owl’s Curiosity Club

Woodsy Owl’s Curiosity Club is a nature program series for youth ages 4-7.   Cost is $5 per child and $3 per accompanying adult.  Online pre-registration is required.


To sign up please visit 

Junior Forester Program

The 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.  Cost is $5 per child and $3 per accompanying adult. Online pre-registration is required.

To sign up please visit