Cradle of Forestry Hosts Forest Festival Day and Woodsmen’s Meet

The Cradle of Forestry invites people of all ages to celebrate the heritage of western North Carolina during the annual Forest Festival Day on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. This is the Cradle’s largest event of the year.

This activity-filled, family event commemorates the traditions of mountain living and craft in a unique and beautiful setting. More than 100 forestry students, traditional craftsmen and exhibitors will be on site during the celebration. During the event, eight colleges will compete for a trophy in the 20th Annual John G. Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet, organized by Haywood Community College in Clyde, NC.

Festival-goers can cheer as college forestry students compete during the Woodsmen’s Meet that has the flavor of an old-time lumberjack competition. Students will test their skills in a number of events including archery, axe throwing, crosscut sawing and pole felling. Spectators of the Woodsmen’s Meet are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket for comfort.

Due to the growing popularity of the event and the limited space for spectators, the Woodmen’s Meet is held in the open field at the Pink Beds Picnic Area. The larger space allows for increased safety of participants and spectators while at the same time providing a better view for those wanting to see all the action.

The Pink Beds Picnic Area and Pink Beds trailhead will be closed to non-event use for the day. The Pink Beds Trail can be accessed from FS Road 1206 via the Barnett Branch Trail and from the South Mills River gauging station area off Wolf Ford Road FS 476.

Traditional crafters and exhibitors will congregate along the trails. These include demonstrations of whittling, wood carving and turning, horse and mule packing, blacksmithing, primitive skills and creating corn husk dolls. Festival goers can learn to cut a tree “cookie” with a cross cut saw to take home.

Falconry demonstrations will be from 11:00 to 3:00. Old fashioned wagon rides will be offered from 11:00 to 2:00. For a complete list of activities, exhibitors and demonstrations during Forest Festival Day visit, or call the Cradle at (828) 877-3130.

Accents on Asheville will provide a shuttle between the Forest Discovery Center and the Pink Beds for those unable to walk the trail to the Woodsmen’s Meet. Hob Nob at the Cradle will sell food.

Forest heritage is a focal point of the festival, and the Cradle of Forestry is the birthplace of modern forestry in America. Dr. Carl Alwin Schenck, forester for George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate from 1895 – 1909, founded America’s first forestry school in 1898 and used the present Cradle of Forestry area as its summer campus. At that time the word “forestry” was a vague and new idea in this nation. Schenck encouraged his students and timberland owners to manage forests for the future. Forest Festival Day celebrates this heritage and our forest lands today.

Admission for this event is $6.00 for ages 16 and older; $3.00 for youth ages 4-15, and holders of America the Beautiful and Golden Age passes. Children under 4 years old are admitted free. The Cradle of Forestry is located four miles south of Parkway Milepost 412 on Hwy. 276 in the Pisgah National Forest, six miles north of Looking Glass Falls.


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