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Looking Glass Falls and Cradle of Forestry

We spent most of the morning trying to decide what to do! Our original plan had been to go to Murphy to the Fields of the Wood Bible Park but after realizing that it would take over two hours to get there and over two back meaning we’d be in the car for nearly five hours we scraped that idea.
We finally headed into Brevard looking for Looking Glass Falls. We went right by the turn off and after eventually putting it in the GPS went right to the Pisgah Forest where Looking Glass Falls and others are located. Our first stop was the Visitor’s Center where we got information on what we wanted to see.

IMG_1071Next we stopped at Looking Glass Falls, a very easily accessible attraction. In fact you don’t even have to get out of the car to see the falls but of course we elected to and then walked down to the base of the falls. Although the water was quite cold we saw some people in the stream walking around and playing in it like it was a hot springs.

Our next stop was the Sliding Rock, a waterfall so named because during the summer people by the throngs slide down the cascade of rocks to the very cold pool below. I can’t even imagine doing that. There were only two people today brave enough to even consider it and after walking all the way to the top they apparently changed their minds and walked back down. According to one woman we talked to she said she walked around in the water and her feet were very quickly numb.

Ranger's House
Ranger’s House
Next we went up to the Cradle of Forestry. Although we didn’t know it, Tuesdays are free admission so we didn’t have to pay although it certainly would have been worth it as it is an amazing place. First we ate lunch at a lovely picnic area next to one of the old ranger houses. The picnic tables were put there to stay! They are the heaviest and biggest tables I’ve seen in a picnic area. Jerry put a couple of item on the table so it could get some perspective on the size when he took a picture of one.

Next we went into the Cradle of Forestry museum. After a brief introduction from one of the rangers we watched a movie that told of the beginning of the School of Forestry that was originally there. This was the first school of forestry although eventually universities such as Yale began a program but in this program there was a morning of classwork and then an afternoon of field world. The course lasted 18 months and there were a series of classes taught by various instructors. A student could enter at any time of the year as long as a new course was beginning.IMG_4030

There are three different paths and/or tours and we went on a guided tour of the Biltmore Campus. Only Jerry and I were on the tour and the guide was extremely knowledgeable. The tour is a mile long and along the way we saw the one room school house with the straightest, most uncomfortable benches (can’t imagine spending a morning there), the general store, the blacksmith shop and various ranger homes. Near the end of the tour we saw a large garden that is planted each spring. We really would have liked to stay longer but it was nearing 5:00 and they were closing. Perhaps another time.

We returned to the campground and went up to the Happy Hour for just a little while. We sat around the fireplace and visited with new friends and then came back to the coach and had dinner.