Cradle of Forestry in America Heritage Site

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 the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association (CFAIA) 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

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 Devin Gentry at 828-884-5713 x221

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Upcoming Events

  • Sept. 28 – Nat’l Public Lands Day (FREE Admission Day)
  • Oct. 5 – Forest Festival Day & Intercollegiate Woodmen’s Meet
  • Oct. 12 – Camping in the Old Style
  • Oct. 18 & 19 – The Legend of Tommy Hodges
  • Oct. 26 – Bat-tastic Celebration
  • Oct. 26 – Bats Workshop
  • Nov. 9 – Appalachian Folkways Series

2019 Calendar of Events & Workshops at the Cradle Heritage Site

For more details and to register for Heritage Site events, please visit

2019 CFAIA Programs & Events

Woodsy Owl’s Curiosity Club

Woodsy Owl’s Curiosity Club is a nature program series for youth ages 4-7 which is hosted on Wednesdays and Thursdays from June 12 – August 8 from 10:30 – noon.  Cost is $5 per child and $3 per accompanying adult.  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

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, hosted at the Cradle site on Wednesdays from June 13-August 8 from 10:30 – 12:30. Cost is $5 per child and $3 per accompanying adult. Prior registration is required.

To sign up please call 828-877-3130. During the winter season (November-April), please call 828-884-5713 x221.