Nestled in the valley below is the Cradle of Forestry in America, the birthplace of science-based forest management and a living legacy made possible by George and Edith Vanderbilt of the nearby Biltmore Estate. Some 87,000 acres of the Vanderbilt's "Pisgah Forest" tract viewed from this point became the nucleus of the Pisgah National Forest, established in 1916.www.cradleofforestry.com · (828)
This 6,500-acre historic site was created by Congress in 1968 to "preserve, develop, and make available to this and future generations the birthplace of forestry and forestry education in America."
Today, the Cradle of Forestry is managed by the U.S. Forest Service and is open to visitors from mid-April to early November. As you enter the main gate (4 miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 412), you will be rewarded with the opportunity to explore the past, present, and future of environmental sustainability and stewardship - brought to visitors through paved interpretive trails, interactive exhibits, film, music, drama, guided tours, nature programs, craft demonstrations, and special events. A sustainably designed Forest Discovery Center with its gift shop and café welcomes visitors to the historic structures and to a relaxing walk through the woods or neighboring Pink Beds Valley.
The North Carolina mountains and foothills were designated the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area in recognition of their natural beauty and living traditions of music, craft, agriculture, and Cherokee culture. This location is part of a regional trail of distinctive heritage sites. Ask for information at area visitor centers.
More information online at: www.blueridgeheritage.com