The Ultimate Guide To Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains
The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & the Western North Carolina Mountains

The Online Version of the Best-selling Regional Guidebook

All about coral reefs and the oceans

Cradle of Forestry

All about rain forests of the world

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   The Cradle of Forestry, a National Historic Site, is located in Pisgah National Forest. It is the site where scientific forestry was first practiced in America over 85 years ago. In 1889, George VandCradle of Forestryerbilt began buying land southwest of Asheville to build a country estate. His plans included a palatial home Pisgah Forest, NC: Cradle of Forestrysurrounded by a large game preserve. To manage the forest property, Vanderbilt hired Gifford Pinchot, father of American forestry. Pinchotís management proved profitable through the sale of wood products, so Vanderbilt purchased an additional 100,000 acres in the mountains surrounding Mt. Pisgah. Pisgah Forest, as it became known, was the first large tract of managed forest land in America. It later became the nucleus of the Pisgah National Forest.
   In 1895, a German forester, Dr. Carl Schenck, succeeded Pinchot as manager of Pisgah Forest.
Dr. Carl Schenck Schenck intensified forest operations and three years later launched the first forestry school in America, the Biltmore Forest School. The school lasted until 1914.
   In 1968, Congress passed the Cradle of Forestry in America Act, establishing 6,400 acres of the Pisgah National Forest to preserve and make available to the public the birthplace of forestry and forestry education in America.
   Public facilities at the Cradle of Forestry provide visitors with exciting programs and displays on the rich history of American forestry. The Forest Discovery Center, two paved interpretative trails, and living history exhibits are major attractions at the historic site. A 1900 portable steam powered sawmill and a restored 1915 Climax locomotive are also on exhibit.

Website: Cradle of Forestry
Pisgah District of the Pisgah National Forest ,
Brevard area
Distance: 1 hour from
Address: Cradle of Forestry, Pisgah National Forest, 1001 Pisgah Hwy., Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
Telephone: 828-877-3130
Hours: Open April to October, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Fees: Adult and student rates, 15 and younger are free
Allow: 3 hours
Of Note: National Historic Site
Resources: Pisgah Ranger District, 828-877-3265
Nearby: Waterfalls in Western North Carolina,
Directions: From Asheville: Take Airport Rd. (NC 280) off of Hendersonville Hwy. in Arden. Continue on 280 past Asheville Airport to Wal-Mart Shopping Plaza just before Brevard. Turn right onto US 276 into Pisgah Forest to Cradle of Forestry. From Hendersonville: Take US 64 West from Hendersonville to intersection of Hwy. 280 and US 276 at the Wal-Mart Shopping Plaza. Continue straight through light to US 276 into Pisgah Forest and Cradle of Forestry.

Wild & Furry Animals of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, by Lee James Pantas





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