October 4, Forest Festival Day and John G. Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet
The Cradle of Forestry invites people of all ages to celebrate the heritage of western North Carolina during the annual Forest Festival Day on Saturday, Oct. 4 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. This is the Cradle’s largest event of the year.
This activity-filled, family event commemorates the traditions of mountain living and craft in a unique and beautiful setting. More than 80 traditional craftsmen, exhibitors and forestry students will be on site during the celebration. During the event, six colleges will compete for a trophy in the 19th Annual John G. Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet, organized by Haywood Community College in Clyde, NC. STIHL is the presenting sponsor of the festival.
Festival-goers can cheer as college forestry students compete during the Woodsmen’s Meet that has the flavor of an old-time lumberjack competition. Students from Haywood Community College, Warren Wilson College, Penn State Mont Alto, Montgomery Community College, North Carolina State University and Dabney Lancaster Community College in Clifton Forge, Va. will test their skills in a number of events including archery, axe throwing, crosscut sawing and pole felling. Spectators of the Woodsmen’s Meet are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket to sit on.
Due to the growing popularity of the event and the limited space for spectators, this year the Woodmen’s Meet will be held in the open field at the Pink Beds Picnic Area. The picnic area and Pink Beds trailhead will be closed to non-event use for the day. The Pink Beds Trail can be accessed from FS Road 1206 via the Barnett Branch Trail and from the South Mills River gauging station area off Wolf Ford Road FS 476.
Traditional crafters and exhibitors will congregate along the trails. These include demonstrations of whittling, wood carving, candle making, creating corn husk dolls, wood turning, fly fishing, fly tying and falconry. Accents on Asheville will provide a shuttle between the Forest Discovery Center and the Pink Beds for those unable to walk the trail to the Woodsmen’s Meet. Hob Nob at the Cradle will sell food. For a complete list of activities, exhibitors and demonstrations during Forest Festival Day. Call the Cradle at (828) 877-3130 for more information. The event is made possible with support from the Transylvania County Tourism Development Authority.
Forest heritage is a focal point of the festival, and the Cradle of Forestry is the birthplace of modern forestry in America. Dr. Carl Schenck, forester for George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate from 1895 – 1909, founded America’s first forestry school in 1898 and used the present Cradle of Forestry area as its summer campus. At that time, the word “forestry” was a vague and new idea in this nation. Dr. Schenck encouraged his students and timberland owners to manage forests for the future. Forest Festival Day celebrates this heritage and our forest lands today.
Admission for this event is $6.00 for ages 16 and older; $3.00 for youth ages 4-15, and holders of America the Beautiful and Golden Age passes. Children under 4 years old are admitted free. The Cradle of Forestry is located four miles south of Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 412 on Hwy. 276 in the Pisgah National Forest, six miles north of Looking Glass Falls.
* Archery and Dendrology (concurrent)
* Team Log Roll
* Orienteering (conducted most of the day)
* Horizontal Speed Chop (Female)
* Water Boil
* Pulpwood Toss for Accuracy
* Axe Throw and Pole Fell (concurrent)
* Pole Climb and Chain Saw Events (concurrent)
* Standing Block Chop
* Cross Cut Saw Events
* Single Buck and Bolt Split (concurrent)
* Horizontal Speed Chop