Celebrate the Cradle of Forestry in America’s 2013 opening with a step back to the days of the Biltmore Forest School. David and Diane Burnette from Haywood County will be on site with their Percheron draft horses to share how they work their land the old way. Weather permitting, they will plow the Cradle’s vegetable garden. Local crafters and heritage interpreters will bring the traditional Blue Ridge culture to life for all ages along the Biltmore Campus Trail. Toward the end of the day fiddle tunes will fill the air by the garden.
Saturday May 11, 2013
The Cradle of Forestry invites kids of all ages to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day on Saturday, May 11, with guided bird walks, birding tips, bird watching and a live bird program.
Forests and fields around the Cradle are alive with song as migratory birds arrive at their summer habitats, so there’s no better place to view and learn about these melodious travelers.
A variety of migratory birds rest and feed at the Cradle of Forestry on their way to breeding grounds further north. Others stay to nest and raise their young. Here birders often see and hear black-throated blue warblers, hooded warblers, black and white warblers, northern parulas and blue headed vireos. Occasionally, a bright Blackburnian warbler or scarlet tanager can be spotted.
Check back for a detailed scheduled of bird related activities for the day!
Started in 1993, International Migratory Bird Day is an educational program that highlights and celebrates bird migration, an important and spectacular event in the Americas. Almost 350 bird species journey from non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean to nesting habitats in North America, while resting and feeding along the way. The USDA Forest Service is a sponsor of International Migratory Bird Day.
Admission to the Cradle of Forestry is $5 for adults and free for youth under 16 years of age and those with America the Beautiful passes and federal Golden Passports. Admission includes a 30-minute film titled There’s Magic at the Cradle, the Forest Discovery Center with hands-on exhibits, a scavenger hunt, a firefighting helicopter simulator, historic cabins and antique equipment on two paved trails. It also includes the Adventure Zone, an activity designed to reach children with autism and engage young families.
The Cradle of Forestry is located on Hwy. 276 in the Pisgah National Forest along the Forest Heritage National Scenic Byway, six miles north of Looking Glass Falls and four miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 412. For more information, call 828-877-3130.
Thursdays from June 6 to August 1, 2013
10:30 – noon
1:30-3:00( if 10:30 class is full)
Summer nature series for children ages 4-7 years old. Each day a variety of outdoor-oriented activities explores a forest related theme to engage young children in the natural world around them. Programs take place Thursdays from June 7 to August 2. The Curiosity Club’s blend of investigation and creativity can be a step to help children “lend a hand, care for the land.” This is the mission of Woodsy Owl, the USDA Forest Service conservation symbol.
Check back in April to see what this year’s topics will be!
The fee for the Curiosity Club is $4.00 per child for each program. Accompanying adults are admitted to the Cradle of Forestry for half price ($2.50). There is no charge for adults with season passes to the Cradle of Forestry. The fee includes all the site has to offer that day. Space is limited to 12 children per program. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (828)877-3130. You can sign up for one program or as many as you’d like.
Please plan on allowing enough time to park, check-in, and pay. Programs start at 10:30 and 1:30
The Cradle of Forestry celebrates National Get Outdoors Day, established in 2008 by the USDA Forest Service to encourage Americans, especially youth, to seek out healthy, active outdoor lifestyles, connect with nature, and embrace public lands. The day includes skill teaching and demonstrations by the area’s outdoor recreation community, and guided nature walks along the Cradle’s Forest Discovery Trail. Admission to the site is free on this national event day.
Activities will include:
- Come meet two real horses and learn about horseback riding with the Backcountry Horsemen of Pisgah
-Guided nature walk along the Cradle’s new Forest Discovery Trail
- Rock Climbing gear presentations and hands-on rappelling demonstrations in front of the Discovery Center with Pure Vida
- Get your picture taken with Smokey Bear behind the Discovery Center!
-Come by the camping display behind the Discovery Center for a Good Camp Vs. Bad Camp game
- Muddy Sneakers naturalists will be teaching participants how to use a map and compass, as well as about the insect life found in ponds at the King House
- Face painting and outdoors inspired crafts behind the Forest Discovery Center
- Headwaters Outfitters will be teaching how to be safe and have fun with canoes and kayaks at the pond
-Songs of the Great Outdoors Music Program at the amphitheatre
Hobnob New Orleans style food and BBQ will be available for purchase
More Programs and Times TBA. Please check back often
June 15, 2013
A sure sign of summertime is the blinking of fireflies or what some call lightning bugs. Enjoy the magical evening forest and learn about the natural history of these fascinating insects. Park and meet at the Pink Beds Picnic Area on Hwy. 276, located next to the Cradle of Forestry.
The firefly walk will be lead by a naturalist from the Cradle of Forestry. The group will meet to discuss the life cycle and special features of fireflies and then take an easy, slow paced walk looking for them and exploring the surrounding forest. Please bring along a flashlight and your sense of wonder. Cost for this special evening program is $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for youth, and America the Beautiful Senior Pass holders.
June 22, 2013
The Cradle of Forestry invites the curious of all ages to learn about insects and other arthropods. This event will be held in and around the Forest Discovery Center at the Cradle of Forestry and commemorates National Pollinator Week. On-going activities include buggy games, crafts, bug hunts and pond explorations.
-See and learn about Monarch Butterflies and their various stages of life
- Meet a naturalist from the Cradle of Forestry for a bug hunt among nearby leaves, logs, and leaf litter
-Adults and older youth are invited on a guided walk along the wheelchair accessible Forest Festival Trail, focusing on insect and forest interactions and interrelationship, both the benign and unkind
-Come meet local beekeeper Matt Elliot from Pure Pisgah Honey to learn about the amazing life of honey bees. He will have an observation hive on-site that will allow you to look inside a real hive to see these amazing pollinators at work.
-Explore a pond with a knowledgeable naturalist from the Cradle of Forestry to discover insects adapted to this watery world
Please check back for a detailed list of additional activities and times!
Sundays in July, 2013
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
The Songcatchers Music Series, now in its ninth year, showcases acoustic music with roots in the Southern Appalachians and the musicians who nurture the tradition of passing this heritage on to others. Local musicians are on site at 3:00 p.m. to jam before the concert, which begins with a warm-up at 4:00 p.m. After a short break the featured performer will begin. Concerts take place in the wheelchair accessible, covered outdoor amphitheatre unless storms move them inside the Forest Discovery Center. Picnics are welcome. Morrow Insurance Agency, Inc. is a presenting sponsor of this event.
2013 Songcatchers Music Series Lineup
July 7: Chicken Train
July 14: Hilary Dirlam and Rhonda Gouge
July 21: Laura Boosinger
July 28: Cary Fridley and the Stewart Brothers
Admission for this event is $6.00 for ages 16 and older, $3.00 for youth 15 and under and America the Beautiful pass holders.
July 13, 2013
7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Moths, bats, owls- these are just some of the animals active at night when many of us are settled in our shelters. This wheelchair accessible program during a magical time focuses on nocturnal life in the woods and begins in the Cradle’s outdoor amphitheatre. Children can make a luna moth finger puppet to take home. A naturalist will describe the special adaptations animals have for going about the business of living from dusk to dawn. Then the group will stroll through the evening woods in search of winged creatures of the night.
Cost for this special evening program is $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for youth, and America the Beautiful Senior pass holders.
July 27th, 2013
Come learn about the 1914 Climax logging locomotive on display at the Cradle of Forestry and how it and other old logging trains wound their way through the forest coves of western North Carolina. Enjoy a slide program at 10:30 a.m. and again at 2:00 p.m. presented by Western North Carolina train historian Jerry Ledford. After each program walk the Forest Festival Trail to see the Cradle’s old Climax locomotive. Climb on board and ring the bell, and hear the sound of a steam whistle!
The Asheville Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society members will display a hands-on railroad yard and HO scale switching layout. Learn how to move railroad cars within the yard, how to switch tracks, and set up an entire train from engine to caboose. Enjoy seeing pictures from Southern Railway in the 1950s, old railroad lanterns, and other railroad memorabilia.
August 3, 2013
11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Games, singing, firefighting equipment, birthday cake and of course, Smokey Bear! The symbol of wildland fire prevention turns 69 this year, and the Cradle of Forestry will host this special bear’s birthday party. Smokey will help cut his birthday cake and meet and greet his friends during the celebration. Party favor bags for children include a little book “The True Story of Smokey Bear,” the Smokey Bear song, and Smokey memorabilia. Families are welcome to pack a picnic. Activities during Smokey Bear’s Birthday Party are held in front of the Forest Discovery Center until 1:00, indoors if it is raining. Then festivities continue with a live animal program inside the Forest Discovery Center. Bi-Lo is a presenting sponsor of this event.
The fee for this event is $6.00 for ages 16 and older; youth 15 and under and America the Beautiful and Golden Passport holders are admitted for ½ price on this special day. ($3.00) Children under four years old are admitted free.