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

(828) 877-3130

Site Info.

Hours of Operation:

The Cradle is currently closed for the season.
Opening Day-2023 season:
April 8, 2023

$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.

Cradle of Forestry Map

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.

Take Survey

The Cradle is currently closed for the season.
Join us on April 8th  for opening day of the 2023 season.

The Cradle of Forestry in America is nestled in the Pisgah National Forest along the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina.  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 1914 Climax logging train engine, and interact with historical interpreters through programs and special events. 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, and an interactive exhibit hall.

Make sure to pick up your “Visitor Center Passport” and get your stamp!
– Collect all six stamps: Northwest Trading Post, Pisgah Visitor Center, The Cradle, Anna Ruby Falls, Brasstown Bald, Gladie
– Pick up a passport at any visitor center. Get all six and receive a special surprise! Email once you complete your adventure.

FIND Adventure - On Site

  • School Group Programs
    – View our 2022 Program Guide
  • Forest Place Gift Shop
  • Explore the Exhibit Hall
  • New Community Science Lab
  • Guided Hikes and Weekly Public Programs
  • Three paved trails with interpretive exhibits
  • Now Showing: “First in Forestry” movie
  • Climb aboard the Climax steam train!
  • Homemade Sandwiches at the Cradle Café starting 2022


Programs and Events at the Cradle

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

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. 

Kids on a field trip outdoors

National Forest App

Download the National Forest App before you visit. This free app offers maps of the Pisgah district and the Cradle’s 3 miles of interpretive trails. It also includes an “I Spy” Guide to interest children and adults along the trail, an audio tour of the historic Biltmore Campus trail, and more.

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