Cradle of Forestry Invites Nature Enthusiasts to Pink Beds Bioblitz

The Cradle of Forestry in America invites nature enthusiasts of all ages and knowledge levels to the first Pink Beds Bioblitz. Join naturalists and scientists Friday, September 23, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, September 24 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. to discover the diversity of life in this special part of Pisgah National Forest. This free fun event in honor of National Public Lands Day meets in the Pink Beds Picnic area.

Bring your curiosity and observation skills to the Bioblitz. Binoculars, a magnifying glass, a notepad, and field guides will help you add to the knowledge of plants and animals along the Pink Beds Trail. You can observe and discover on your own or join a guided discovery walk.

Nighttime offers mist netting for bats and searching for moths and nocturnal insects. Saturday birding begins at 8:00 a.m., an “all species” walk begins at 9:00 a.m., and at 2:00 p.m. join an ecology walk. This is a full day of exploring and learning about the natural world from experts while adding to the knowledge of biodiversity in the Pink Beds area.

Mushroom, reptile, and amphibian hunts and fish shocking are just a few of the many activities offered from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. Stations offering help with species identification and with how to safely and respectfully look for wildlife are among the educational booths. Check for a complete schedule of walks and activities.

The Pink Beds Bioblitz will use a citizen science tool called iNaturalist to aid in identification and data collection. You can download this app at home on a smartphone and join the “Pink Beds Bioblitz” project. If you choose to use this tool you can photograph a plant or animal with your GPS turned on and load your observation into the project. Help with this app will be available both Friday evening and Saturday.

Registration for the Pink Beds Bioblitz is not required. Please wear closed-toe shoes and pants for extra protection and prepare for the weather. Bring along water and lunch. Parking is available in the Pink Beds parking lot, or participants can park at the Cradle of Forestry interpretive center and walk to the picnic area. The Cradle is open daily from 9:00 to 5:00 and offers restrooms, a gift shop, exhibits and trails to enjoy.

The Pink Beds Picnic Area is located on U.S. Highway 276 in the Pisgah National Forest along the Forest Heritage National Scenic Byway, on the right just north of the Cradle of Forestry entrance, about six miles north of Looking Glass Falls and four miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 412. For more information, call the Cradle of Forestry at 828-877-3130 or online at


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