The Cradle of Forestry is considered the Birthplace of Forest Conservation on America. And it's a place I would definitely recommend visiting. The Discovery Center has a ton of exhibits on forestry, conservation, nature and the forest service. There is a simulated helicopter ride, tunnel and a scavenger hunt for the kids.
Once we thoroughly experienced what the center had to offer on the inside, we headed outside into nature.
There are a couple trails to take- the Biltmore Campus Trail- which gives a look at life at the first school of Forestry or the Forest Festical Trai- which has many points of interest along they way to learn about logging, conservation efforts and other topics regarding the forest. We chose the Forest Festival Trail, but will definitely be back to take the other one at some point.
The trail was paved and makes about a 1.3 mile loop through the forest with numbered points of interest along the way.
Rylan's enthusiasm for trees tends to rub off on the other boys. And they sprint around the trails looking for signs of trees we've not encountered before- other than in books. There was lots of "Rylan what type of oak is this?" and other such questions.
So we noted the names of the trees and observed the bark and leaves.
And anything growing on that bark or on the forest floor...
There was an old steam powered engine at the sawmill. Where we read about why it was such a dangerous place to work.
And the logging locomotive was a big hit. They could climb up and ring the bell. And see the logging cars and the log loader at the end.
The trial snaked around past an old hatchery, the remains of a homestead, an area of forest dedicated to conifers and their growth needs and ended up back at the discovery center.
If you are in the area, or plan on visiting you should stop by, I don't think you would be disappointed. The Cradle of Forestry is easily ascessible from the Blue Ridge Parkway (around mile post #411) or from interstate 1-26 and is located in Brevard, NC.