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


 Saturday April 26, 2014

The Cradle of Forestry invites kids of all ages to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day on Saturday, April 26, 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 12 – Aug 14, Woodsy Owl’s Curiosity Club

Thursdays from June 12 to August 14,  2014

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 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:     TBA

June 19:     TBA

June 26:     TBA

July 3:        TBA

July 10:      TBA

July 17:      TBA

July 24:      TBA

July 31:      TBA

August 7:   TBA

August 14:  TBA


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. The event is sponsored by:

Check back soon for a detailed list of fun hands-on activities and demonstrations for 2014!

!!!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:

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.

 -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: Songcatchers Music Series


Sundays in July, 2014

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.


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.


2014 Songcatchers Details: Coming Soon


July 6:


July 13:


July 20:


July 27:






July 20, Winged Creatures of the Night Twilight Tour

July 20, 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.


August 2, Smokey Bear’s Birthday Party!

August 2, 2014

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.


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Managed by the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association