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 Vanderbilt began buying land southwest of Asheville to
build a country estate. His plans included a palatial home
surrounded 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
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
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.
Location: Pisgah District of the
Pisgah National Forest
Distance: 1 hour from
Address: Cradle of Forestry, Pisgah National Forest, 1001 Pisgah Hwy., Pisgah
Forest, NC 28768
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
Waterfalls in Western North
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.