Cradle of Forestry

The Birthplace of Forest Conservation in America

April 19: Make Way for Monarchs!

monarchThe Cradle of Forestry in America invites the public to attend “Make Way for Monarchs,” Saturday April 19, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. Brevard naturalist Ina Warren will present this multi-media program about this year’s record low over-wintering populations of monarch butterflies.


Warren will also discuss ways to grow native milkweeds, monarchs’ sole larval food source, and nectar-rich plant species for adult butterflies. Free samples of locally native milkweed seeds will be available.


At 1:00 p.m. Cradle of Forestry interpreter Devin Gentry will present a program “Why Are We Letting the Grass Grow?” addressing a continuing project to convert selected lawn areas around the Cradle’s Forest Discovery Center to native landscaping. This effort to sustain the interdependence between plants and pollinators, including monarchs, can be duplicated by homeowners.


”Make Way for Monarchs” is part of a national spring tour of speakers providing monarch education programs around the 50th anniversary of the death of Rachel Carson (1907-1964). It was Carson’s landmark work, Silent Spring, which first alerted the public to the dangers associated with the widespread use of chemical pesticides. Monarchs’ summer breeding habitat has been diminished or lost due to untargeted or excessive herbicide use combined with other factors. The loss of overwintering habitat in Mexico has also affected populations.


With Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan, Ina is co-facilitator of a new initiative, “Make Way for Monarchs : A Milkweed-Butterfly Recovery Alliance” which brings scientists, farmers, naturalists, writers, artists and other change makers to the monarch conservation table. The public is invited to read the extensive articles uploaded to the new website at .


Following the monarch program, the one-hour documentary on Rachel Carson’s life, “A Sense of Wonder” will be shown for those interested, courtesy of the N.C. Bartram Trail Society. More info on this DVD is available at:


The Cradle of Forestry is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $5.00 for adults, free for youth under age 16. Golden Age and America the Beautiful passes are honored. The Cradle is located in the Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, on US Highway 276, 6 miles north of Looking Glass Falls and 4 miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway. for information about the Cradle of Forestry in America.



2014 Opening Day! Old Time Plowing and Folkways

  April 12th, 2014

   Celebrate the Cradle of Forestry in America’s 2014 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.


April 26, International Migratory Bird Day Celebration

Black Burnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warblers such as this one can be found around the Cradle of Forestry during their spring migration from the tropics.


The Cradle of Forestry invites you to celebrate Migratory Bird Day on Saturday, April 26, with a guided bird walk, live raptor program, a bird survey demonstration and family-oriented activities.
   Forests and fields around the Cradle are alive with song as migratory birds arrive at their summer habitats. The Cradle of Forestry is along the North Carolina Birding Trail and is an excellent place to view and learn about these melodious travelers.
   Activities for the day include:
  • 9:00 a.m. – join naturalist Bill Sanderson on a birding walk for an in-depth look at local and migratory songbird species. Look and listen for birds by the Forest Discovery Center and along paved trails to identify species present, learning about bird characteristics and habitat preferences along the way.
  • Beginning at 11:00 a.m. – meet Dr. Maria Whitehead, an ornithologist (bird biologist) from The Nature Conservancy. She will have a net set up used in bird surveys and explain what these surveys tell us about birds.
  • 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Ongoing activities that show the wonder of birds and teach how we can do our part for their conservation. Make crafts to take home to remind you of these tiny creatures that enrich our lives and play important roles in nature.
  • 2:00 p.m. – Enjoy a live bird program with Wild For Life: Center for Rehabilitation of Wildlife from Asheville, NC, and learn about their work caring for injured and orphaned wildlife.
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.  
   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 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. Lunch is available for purchase from Hobnob at the Cradle.


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.

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 12 – Aug 14, Woodsy Owl’s Curiosity Club

Thursdays from June 12 to August 14,  2014

10:30 – noon




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 12 to August 14. 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 12:     Get Outside

June 19:     Pollination Sensation

June 26:     Poking Around the Pond

July 3:        Mountain Melodies

July 10:      After-Dark Animals 

July 17:      Bird is the Word

July 24:      Talking About Trees

July 31:      Fire in the Forest

August 7:   Celebrating Snakes

August 14:  Spinning a Food Web


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.


June 14, National Get Outdoors Day

Hands on Archery LessonJune 14, 2014



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!


Unless noted otherwise, all activities will take place from 11:00-4:00


Hands-on activities and demonstrations will include:


Archery with the NC Bowhunters Association


Fly-Fishing with Trout Unlimited


Canoeing and Kayaking with Headwaters Outfitters


Map/Compass Skills and Aquatic Life Observation Table with Muddy Sneakers


Outdoor Oriented Crafts, Games, and Face Painting with Cradle of Forestry Staff


Songs of the Big Outdoors Live Music Program at 12:00pm


Guided Nature Walk to the Pink Beds Boardwalk at 2:00pm



Hobnob at the Cradle will have BBQ available for purchase in addition to their cafe’ menu.


National Get Outdoors Day is Sponsored By:

DBO logo





June 28, Twilight Firefly Tour

June 28, 2014


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 21, Bug Day!

June 21, 2014

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.European_honey_bee_extracts_nectar

Scheduled programs in addition to ongoing games and crafts:

10:00 and 3:30 – Explore a pond with a knowledgeable naturalist from the Cradle of Forestry to discover insects adapted to this watery world.


11:00, 1:00, 2:30, 4:30 – Play the What Do Bugs Need? game.


11:30 and 2:00 – Go on bug hunt bug hunt among nearby leaves, logs, and leaf litter with naturalists from the Cradle of Forestry


1:30 – Special Presentation: Why are we Letting the Grass Grow?


3:00-3:30: Guided Walk: Mysteries on Forest Leaves


11:00 – 4:00 – Meet local beekeeper Mike 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 with thousands of honeybees to see these amazing pollinators at work.


Joyce Pearsall will also be on sight with a Live Monarch Butterfly Exhibit teaching about the Monarch’s life cycle, migration, and conservation.


Admission to the Cradle of Forestry is $5.00 for adults and free for youth under 16 years of age and America the Beautiful and Golden Age Passes. For more information call 828-877-3130.




Sundays in July: Songcatchers Music Series


2014 Songcatchers Music Series

Sundays in July

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.Songcatchers Twins (7)

The Songcatchers Music Series, now in its 12th 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 often 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 amphitheater unless storms move them inside the Forest Discovery Center. Picnics, along with chairs and seat pads, are welcomed between the amphitheater’s concrete seating. Admission for this event is $6.00 for ages 16 and older, $3.00 for youth 15 and under, America the Beautiful Pass holders, and Golden Age Passport holders. Morrow Insurance Agency is this year’s sponsor. The Songcatchers Music series is an official part of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area’s Blue Ridge Music Trail.


Josh & Laura compressedJuly 6: Laura Boosinger and Josh Goforth- Two exceptional musicians and entertainers present a varied set of old-time favorites, originals, a little swing and sparking duet harmonies.

Laura Boosinger has won glowing reviews wherever she appears and is blessed with an ‘essence of the mountains’ spirit that can take you back to the good old days when folks used to huddle around the radio. Laura will be in the company of Josh Goforth, an outstanding musician, acclaimed fiddler, guitar picker and mandolin player, from Madison County, North Carolina. Josh has already garnered a Grammy nomination and has established himself as a “one to watch” musician who is heading for the premier league. Sing Out magazine called their latest CD, “Most of All,” “Simple, direct and as good as it gets.”

Transylvania County’s East Fork Gals open the show with traditional fiddle tunes and old time songs.


robinsons - CopyJuly 13: Dana and Susan Robinson – Dana and Susan Robinson are two guitar-playing, banjo-frailing, fiddle-sawing, and harmony-singing interpreters of the American experience. They bring to the stage a joyful blend of Appalachian mountain music, songs and stories of the American landscape and a deep understanding of America’s musical heritage. Dana’s instrumental “Crossing the Platte” was featured in Ken Burns new PBS documentary, “Our National Parks, America’s Best Idea.” The Robinsons call Marshall, North Carolina home.

Dana and Susan Robinson’s performance captures the imagination of their audience.

They can provoke laughter and poignant reflection as they take listeners on a journey across America and convey the mystery and wonder of the places they visit. Whether the music is quiet or driving, there is a steady and unrelenting groove to it that supports the lyric and delivers the story in an effortless and magical way. To learn more visit

Emily Reasoner and Cindy Carpenter open the show with a selection of traditional songs expressed with harmonies they have blended for over 30 years.


anna and elizabeth - CopyJuly 20: Elizabeth LaPrelle and Anna Roberts-Gevalt:  raw & reverent music & storytelling from the mountains.

Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle met in 2010 and soon began planning adventures together. These talented young women use all the creative tools they can think of: storytelling, research, fiddle, banjo, guitar, ballads, puppets, poetry, and moving scrolls called “crankies”. Anna and Elizabeth dedicate their work to honoring the lives and creativity of those who have gone before us- ancestors, pioneers, friends and teachers. They enjoy bringing light to old ballads, tunes, hymns and stories of everyday people.

Anna and Elizabeth’s interest in tradition and heritage go well beyond music. They strive to engage themselves and their audience with traditional art in all the forms it can take—from canning to woodcuts, quilting to singing, to better express the rich stories the Appalachian region has to share, and to engage younger generations in the same. Check them out at

Opening the show: TBA



July 27: Palmetto Gravel Scratchers

From Upstate South Carolina, the Palmetto Gravel Scratchers bring together a unique mix of old time traditional string band tunes, historical ballads, early country songs and the works of contemporary songwriters. Their music relives the times when great changes were taking place in the United States from the end of the Civil War through the 1920’s and beyond.

Through his research of music archives, vinyl recording and long-passed musicians, fiddler Andy Brooks authentically recreates fiddle tunes, waltzes and ballads for the group. Becky Stovall plays guitar and fiddle and enjoys singing songs from her home in the rural South. Barbara Massey’s authentic clawhammer banjo style adds a beautiful tone and rhythm to all the styles performed by the group. Don Massey completes the band with a foundation on the upright bass.

Just as in any era, music plays an integral part in reflecting the events and people of those times. The Palmetto Gravel Scratchers are dedicated to performing the “old tunes” for new audience and telling the stories of a different era. Transylvania County’s Roadapple Ramblers open the show.


Sponsored by:Morrow logo resized




July 12, Winged Creatures of the Night Twilight Tour

July 12, 2014

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 19, Train History Day

Saturday, July 19:      Train History Day      


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. The program features old photographs of the real people and places that are part of local logging history. After each program walk the accessible Forest Festival Trail to see the Cradle’s old Climax locomotive and discuss its history and mechanics.


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.



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Managed by the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association