The Cradle of Forestry

This 6,500-acre site in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, NC was established to “preserve, develop, and make available to this and future generations the birthplace of forestry and forestry education in America.”

11250 Pisgah Hwy.
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
Office Phone


Site Info.

Now Open!
Wednesday – Monday
10:00 – 5:00pm

$6.00 *Ages 13 and up
$3.00 Federal Pass
$3.00 Ages 4-12
America the Beautiful passes honored

*Special event fees may apply.

Mailing Address:

49 Pisgah Highway, Suite 4
Pisgah Forest 28768

Physical Location:

11250 Pisgah Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

NOTE: Mailing address differs from physical address.

Upcoming Programs at the Cradle:
* Camping in the Old Style – October 9
* The Legend of Tommy Hodges – October 22-23

Click to see up to date alerts on the Pisgah National Forest.

Make sure to pick up your “Visitor Center Passport” and get your stamp!
– Collect all five stamps: Northwest Trading Post, Pisgah Visitor Center, Anna Ruby Falls, Brasstown Bald, The Cradle
– Pick up a passport at any visitor center. Get all five and receive a special edition token!

The Cradle of Forestry in America is nestled in the Pisgah National Forest along the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. Here you’ll explore the history of American forestry through three miles of paved interpretative trails and hands-on exhibits. Our trails offer visitors a chance to explore seven historical building from the time of the Biltmore Forest School (1898-1914), climb aboard and ring the bell of a 1915 Climax logging train engine, and interact with historical interpreters and audio recordings. Inside our Discovery Center you’ll find our gift shop bursting with nature-themed books, clothing, toys and crafts, a spacious theater playing a short film about the history of our site, a café and interactive exhibit hall. Our exhibit hall offers information about forestry practices past and present, exploration of the forest habitat and the animals that call Pisgah National Forest home. A recently added Citizen Science Lab guides children to make observations about the forest and brings the spirit of the Biltmore Forest School to life.

The Cradle is home to enchanting special events that highlight our site’s history and biodiverse beauty. From our In Search of Blue Ghost Firefly Tours, Songcatchers Music Series, Smokey Bear’s Birthday, Forest Festival Day & Intercollegiate Woodsmen Meet, to the Legend of Tommy Hodges Outdoor Drama, we have an event for you.

Visit Cradle Site

The Cradle of Forestry will be undertaking a major roof renovation for the remainder of the season. Although we will be open, this may impact your experience at the Cradle. Renovations will NOT be held on weekends. Thank you for your patience as we work to beautify this amazing historic gem!

FIND Adventure - On Site

  • Gift shop with t-shirts, books, hats, kids games and local items
  • Explore the exhibit hall
  • New Citizen Science Lab!
  • Interpretive hikes and programs
  • Three paved trails with interpretive exhibits
  • Shaded and spacious picnic areas
  • Theater – Now Showing: “First in Forestry: Carl Schenck and the Biltmore Forest School”
  • Explore the Climax steam train!

FIND Adventure - Off Site

  • Blue Ridge Parkway 4 miles away
  • Beautiful downtown Brevard
  • Hiking in the Pink Beds
  • Looking Glass and Moore Cove Falls
  • Hike to Looking Glass Rock for stunning views!
  • Mountain biking galore

Citizen Science Saturdays

Mother and Daughter in the Forest

Download educational guide about Project Squirrel and squirrel themed info and activity.

Download educational guide about World Migratory Bird Day (May 9th, but you can use any day of the year).

Download an educational guide about practicing your Observation Skills to become a better Citizen Scientist! There are fun activities and recommended projects!

Stay tuned for more citizen science information and educational content!

Field Trips

We recognize that field trips enrich the learning experience.  Therefore, the Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site strives to be a top field trip destination for students and teachers in western North Carolina.  Because we are located in an area rich in history and natural diversity, we can offer School Field Trips featuring science, social studies and history. View a complete list of programs and their NC curriculum correlation.

Kids on a field trip outdoors

Love the RV life?

you could be a campground host!

Being a campground host is an exciting opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, meet new friends and provide assistance and information to visitors.  

Lets Go Find Outdoors