Few People Know North Carolina Is Home To The First School Of Forestry In America
The Cradle of Forestry in America Heritage Site is the birthplace of forestry in America and the Biltmore Forest School. Established near Asheville in 1898, in the sprawling 500,000+ acres of Pisgah National Forest, the school was the first for the scientific study of forestry in the U.S. F
or 15 years the school staff educated more than 300 students who became some of the first American foresters. The forest is also home to the first tract of land purchased under the Weeks Act of 1911, credited for creating a national forest system in the U.S.
On May 22, 1914, Edith Vanderbilt sold 86,700 acres of the Pisgah Forest to the U.S. Government for $5 an acre.
But before that, in 1895, German forester Carl A. Schenck took charge of the Biltmore Estate forest, which totaled more than 100,000 acres that year, and established the Biltmore Forest School — the first of its kind.
Biltmore Estate, 1 Approach Rd, Asheville, NC 28803, USA
Schenck offered a three-month trip through European forests where students are pictured inspecting a portable forest railroad line in Darmstadt, Germany.
The site in Pisgah National Forest, right off U.S. Route 276, offers a visitor center, gift shop, restrooms, a small cafe, a historic schoolhouse, and other structures.
11250 Pisgah Hwy, Pisgah Forest, NC 28768, USA
An admission fee is charged to see this seasonally opened historic space, April through November, where you'll find a large parking lot.
Here you'll find educational exhibits about forestry, suitable for adults and children.
The site offers two easy paved loop trails through forests and by historic buildings, telling stories of the forestry history.
Interpretive signs and audio give the story of student life from 1898 to 1909.
And learn about this beauty — a 1915 Climax logging locomotive on display at the Cradle.
For more information, visit the
Cradle of Forestry In America Heritage Site’s website. And while you’re at Pisgah National Forest, take this easy trail to an amazing hidden waterfall in North Carolina.
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.
Explore North Carolina
Cradle of Forestry in America, 11250 Pisgah Hwy, Pisgah Forest, NC 28768, USA