CRADLE OF FORESTRY in AMERICA  -- Looking for adventure, family fun, even a learning experience? Read further to see what this Western North Carolina Forest area has to offer!


Our Heritage:

This 6500 acre heritage site in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, NC was created by Congress in 1968 to “preserve, develop, and make available to this and future generations the birthplace of forestry and forestry education in America.”

What There Is To Do:
Today this North Carolina destination is jointly managed by the US Forest Service and the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association. The site is open to visitors everyday from mid-April to early November. As you enter the main gate (4 miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 412) you are rewarded with the opportunity to explore the past, present, and future of environmental sustainability and stewardship. These are brought to visitors through paved interpretive trails, interactive exhibits, film, music, drama, guided tours, nature programs, craft demonstrations, and special events. A sustainably designed Forest Discovery Center with its gift shop and café welcomes visitors to the historical structures and a relaxing walk through the woods.




May The Forest Be With You
Sat, Aug 11, 2018
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

One of our newer events that celebrates forest resources use of past and present. Local artisans will be joining the Cradle in demonstrating Appalachian cultural and modern uses of forest products. Crafters will have their locally handmade items available for purchase.

Exhibitors: WNC Woodcarvers Association, Phil Reeves, George Collins, Chuck Kidwell, Hope and Larry Ascher

Tablers: Hemlock Restoration Initiative, visit their website for more information

Scheduled Activities:

10am to 4pm: Meet & Greet with Exhibitors and Tablers

11am & 3pm: Guided tour of the Forest Festival Trail (1.3 miles) with Cradle Naturalists

2pm: Presentation from Hemlock Restoration Initiative in Forest Discovery Center

10am to 4pm: Children’s activities and craft


Bring Back The Monarchs
Sun, Sep 16, 2018
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Migratory monarch butterflies are heading south this time of year. You can learn how to help them survive through their big journey.

Event Details:
A schedule of activities will be posted later.

Monarch Watch:
“Bring Back the Monarchs” is a nationwide campaign thru the nonprofit Monarch Watch. “The goals of this program are to restore 20 milkweed species, used by monarch caterpillars as food, to their native ranges throughout the United States and to encourage the planting of nectar-producing native flowers that support adult monarchs and other pollinators.” The Monarch Waystation initiative encourages participation in conservation of these butterflies at any sites across the nation. You can visit the website to learn what you need and how you can certify your site.

Forest Festival Day- John G. Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet
Sat, Oct 6, 2018

The 2017 event was presented by:
With Support By:

Forest Festival Day:
Meet traditional craftsmen, exhibitors, forestry students, and entertainers as they gather at the Cradle of Forestry to celebrate our forests and forest heritage.

In 1908 Dr. Carl A. Schenck hosted the Forest Fair at the Biltmore Estate. This event honored the 10th year of the Biltmore Forest School, America’s first school of forestry. Over 400 people were invited to this celebration of the beginnings of American forestry. Today we commemorate Schenck’s Forest Fair along the 1-mile Forest Festival Trail and annual Forest Festival Day. Wood carvers, weavers, and other demonstrators are invited to present their skills and craftsmanship.

2018 List of Crafters and Demonstrators are TBD

23rd John G. Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet:
Each year Haywood Community College organizes this annual lumberjack competition. Coinciding with Forest Festival Day, events occur in the Pink Beds Picnic Area. Several colleges compete in topics such as dendrology, crosscut sawing, archery, axe throwing, pole climbing and more.

Camping In The Old Style
Sat, Oct 13, 2018

Visit with the Acorn Patrol, a small group of classic campers in a re-created campsite of the early 1900’s. At this time in history the Pisgah National Forest was in its infancy, and city folk were discovering the joys of outdoor recreation.

Camping In The Old Style Details:
The Acorn Patrol demonstrates early methods of camping at the turn of the 20th century. See bushcraft techniques of the NC mountains such as fire by flint, steel, and friction, and old style campfire cookery. Explore the gear of a by-gone day, four different styles of period canvas shelters, and traditional camp tools in use. Each camper has expertise in various aspects of woodcraft, history and nature study. They welcome any questions from visitors.

Find out more!



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