Forest Festival Day Near Asheville, NC

Saturday, October 6th will be quite a day at the Cradle of Forestry.

That's when they'll celebrate Forest Festival Day from 9 AM until 5-ish.

The Cradle of Forestry is outside Asheville ... but it's really closer to Brevard ... in the Mount Pisgah Forest ... six miles north of Looking Glass Falls... in Mount Pisgah, North Carolina ... but their mailing address isn't actually Mount Pisgah -- if I understand correctly (which is rarely the case).

Therefore, Click Here for Directions to the Cradle of Forestry

Please note: You might want to avoid using N.C. 151, due to extremely steep inclines and sharp curves. [Unless you ride a motorcycle.]

The Cradle of Forestry preserves the heritage of western North Carolina through their annual Forest Festival Day, an activity filled family event that showcases traditional mountain living. More than two dozen craftsmen, exhibitors and musicians will set up along two paved trails at the Cradle of Forestry.

During the event, six colleges will compete for a trophy in the 17th Annual John G. Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen's Meet, organized by Haywood Community College. STIHL is the presenting sponsor of the festival.

At the corral along the Biltmore Campus Trail, you can watch college forestry students compete during the Woodsmen's Meet. It's reminiscent of an old-time lumberjack competition with:

  • archery
  • axe throwing
  • crosscut sawing and
  • pole climbing.

Spectators would be wise to bring a chair or blanket ... and to keep an eye out for flying axes.

The Biltmore Campus Trail also provides a close-up look at such traditional crafts as

  • weaving
  • blacksmithing and
  • creating corn husk dolls.

Learn about efforts to restore the native chestnut tree from The American Chestnut Foundation.

On the Forest Festival Trail you can:

  • give a crosscut saw a shot
  • make a tree cookie to take home
  • learn how to take a tree down using hand tools
  • or rolling a log.

Too tame for you? Visit with Trout Unlimited volunteers and try casting for one of the trout in the pond or go all Robin Hood with the archers at the display manned by the North Carolina Bowhunters Association.

This year's Forest Festival Day offers several new features, including riding a horse-drawn wagon along a section of the Forest Festival Trail. Accents on Asheville will provide a shuttle to the Woodmen's Meet for those unable to walk the trail to the event. Hob Nob at the Cradle will sell food, and old-time musicians will roam the trails.


Folks 16 and older can trade six almost-worthless dollars for a day of joy and education. It's only three bucks, if you're between 4 and 15; kids under 4 get in free, presumably with a paying adult.

Click Here for Forest Festival's Website

Woodsmen's Meet Events

  • Archery and Dendrology (concurrent)
  • Team Log Roll
  • Orienteering (conducted most of the day)
  • Horizontal Speed Chop (Female)
  • Water Boil
  • Pulpwood Toss for Accuracy
  • Axe Throw and Pole Fell (concurrent)
  • Pole Climb
  • Cross Cut saw events
  • Single Buck
  • Bolt Split
  • Chain Saw Events

Cradle of Forestry

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. He encouraged his students and timberland owners to manage forests for the future. Forest Festival Day celebrates this heritage and our forest lands today.

Tags: Events, Tourism, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Hiking Gear, Right to Hike, and Festivals

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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