Nestled in Pink Beds Valley is the Cradle of Forestry in America. This heritage site is the birthplace of science-based forest management. George and Edith Vanderbilt of the nearby Biltmore Estate are accredited for this living legacy. Some 87,000 aces of the Vanderbilt’s “Pisgah Forest” tract became the nucleus of the Pisgah National Forest, established in 1916.
This 6500 acre historic 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 historic structures and a relaxing walk through the woods.