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.
Weekly Thursday Themes:
June 6: Sensing Nature
June 13: Pond Exploration
June 20: Interesting Insects
June 27: Reptiles
July 4: Music in the Woods
July 11: Night Creatures
July 18: Wildlife Tracking
July 25: Terrific Trees!
August 4: Our Feathered Friends
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 before the program begins.
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. The event is sponsored by:
Activities will include:
- See if you can hit the bulls-eye and try your hand at archery with the NC Bowhunters Association.
-Guided nature walk to the new Pink Beds Boardwalk. Meet at the front desk at 1:30.
- 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! He will make an appearance at 1:00 and 3:00
-Check out the camping display behind the Discovery Center for tips on Leave No Trace.
- 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
- Basic bike maintenance, how to be prepared on the trail, and learn how to change a flat tire with the staff from Sycamore Cycles
!!!DOOR PRIZES Provided By Coleman and Diamond Brand Outdoors!!!
Drawings at 12:00, 2:00, 4:00
Hobnob at the Cradle will have BBQ available for purchase in addition to their cafe’ menu.
National Get Outdoors Day is Sponsored By:
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 Cradle of Forestry in America will hold its annual Songcatchers Music Series each Sunday at 4 p.m. afternoon in July. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the concert series that honors traditional mountain music and the talented performers who preserve it, share it and make it their own.
Inspired by the book, Songcatcher in the Southern Mountains by Dorothy Scarborough and fueled by the 2000 film Songcatcher, the Cradle launched the series in 2003 with local professional musicians who were in the film. This year the Songcatchers Music Series became an official part of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area’s Music Trail. The Morrow Insurance Agency, Inc. is sponsoring the series this year.
Concerts take place in the Cradle’s covered outdoor amphitheater and move indoors if the weather is stormy. The stage show begins with warm-up music at 4 p.m. The main performers play from about 4:35 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Members of OTTO WOOD (Old Time Transylvania Organization without Official Designation) play informally by the Cradle’s Moon Tree at 3 p.m. before the concert.
2013 Songcatchers Details
July 7: Chicken Train
Chicken Train, comprised of traditional music veterans John Engle, John Herrmann and Meredith McIntosh, presents traditional mountain tunes and songs on fiddle, banjo, guitar and bass. The band combines two streams of old time music.
One stream is the style of legendary fiddler Tommy Jarrell (1901-1985). John Engle has been studying the fiddling of Tommy Jarrell and other North Carolina fiddlers for the past ten years or so with incredible diligence. He has transcribed Jarrell’s entire repertoire, including the bowing nuances. John is always refining his listening and playing.
The other main tributary is John Herrmann’s interest in African-American folk songs that pre-date, or fall outside, the strict blues form. There was a time when music passed back and forth freely between black and white rural communities. John’s interest is in songs from the black tradition that work well in the southern mountain style.
July 14: Hilary Dirlam and Rhonda Gouge
Rhonda Gouge and Hilary Dirlam both bring a lifetime of musical experience to their musical partnership. Their performances convey their enjoyment of playing and singing together. Expect to hear old-time and bluegrass tunes, western swing, favorite standards, and Carter Family songs.
Rhonda lives and works in Mitchell County, where she has roots going back many generations. She is related to NC Heritage Award Winner, Oscar “Red” Wilson who passed on a lot of his traditional music to her during her youth. In addition to teaching as many as 60 students a week in her music studio in Ledger, Rhonda has taught traditional music at Mars Hill College and Appalachian State. She has performed at numerous regional festivals. Rhonda sings beautifully and is a virtuoso on guitar, mandolin and banjo.
Since moving to North Carolina in 1980, Hilary Dirlam has performed and recorded with a number of regional traditional groups including the Freeman Family Band and NC Heritage award winning groups Luke Smathers Band and the Carroll Best Band. She taught for several years at Brevard’s favorite music store, Celestial Mountain Music. She and the store’s owner, Mary Gordon, have entertained many as the Antique Road Show, and also have co-written lesson books with accompanying CD’s for those who want to learn to play old time fiddle tunes. Hilary plays bass, guitar, and clawhammer banjo, and is known to do a tune or two on the ukelele.
July 21: Laura Boosinger
Laura Boosinger’s concerts focus on interpreting traditional music from the southern mountains. She plays old-time banjo, guitar, dulcimer and finger-style autoharp, and invites audiences to participate in the richness of the region’s musical heritage. A seasoned entertainer, Laura fills the air with her lovely voice, delightful personality, and sense of humor. Her performances have included the Tennessee Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia, Merlefest, and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. She garnered the title of “Most Outstanding Performer” at the oldest continuing traditional music festival in the country, Asheville’s Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. She is also Executive Director of the Madison County Arts Council and has been involved in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area’s Blue Ridge Music Trail project. Visit www.lauraboosinger.com for more information.
July 28: Cary Fridley and the Stewart Brothers- traditional ballads and fiddle tunes.
Trevor and Travis Stewart, from Haywood Co., NC, grew up playing old time music. Their superb banjo and fiddle playing complement Cary’s strong ballad singing. Together, their knowledge, experience and expression of traditional music are sure to inspire.
The Stuart Brothers and Cary Fridley are part of the next generation of traditional mountain musicians, dedicated to honoring the old tunes and songs of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. The Stuart Brothers are world renown for their masterful performances of Appalachian fiddle and banjo duets, and Cary for her high lonesome powerful singing and guitar work with the traditional old-time band The Freight Hoppers. Their performance together is a combination of Appalachian fiddle tunes, Baptist spirituals, banjo tunes, square dance hoedowns, traditional ballads, Carter Family songs, and tunes from the Western North Carolina Mountains.
Concert-goers are welcome to arrive early and enjoy indoor and outdoor exhibits, two interpretive trails, the Giving Tree gift shop, and food from Hob Nob at the Cradle of Forestry. The site, including the amphitheater, is wheelchair accessible and will be open until 6 p.m. on Songcatchers Sundays.
Admission for all shows is $6.00 for ages 16 and older; $3.00 for youth 15 and under and America the Beautiful and Golden Age pass holders. The Cradle of Forestry is located on Hwy. 276 in the Pisgah National Forest, six miles north of Looking Glass Falls and four miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway. For more information call 828-877-3130.
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.
NEW THIS YEAR: The Friends of the Cradle have sponsored the day and made it possible for the Watauga Valley Railroad Society and Museum Ghost Whistle Truck to be here! Come ring all the various sounding train whistles!
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.