Celebrating 50 Years of Helping People FIND Outdoors

FIND Outdoors is celebrating 50 years as the Southeast’s leading nonprofit organization. For more than five decades now, we are committed to providing access to public lands through educational, recreational, and interpretive opportunities for all. At FIND Outdoors, we believe when you discover you connect; when you connect, you care; and when you care, you protect. That is why through forest-inspired nature discovery, we help people Go FIND Outdoors.

Formerly known as the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association (CFAIA), the organization was established in 1972 in Pisgah Forest, North Carolina and supports the birthplace of modern forestry education in America. Over the years, the organization has grown in both scope and size with the headquarters office still firmly rooted in Pisgah Forest, North Carolina and conveniently located at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest.

First Cradle of Forestry Visitor Center, Pisgah Forest, NC 1972

Today through our work as a leading regional 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we are honored to serve over 1,000,000 visitors annually with a focus on our mission of promoting educational, recreational and interpretive opportunities about forest and water resources, natural history and the Cradle of Forestry in America. FIND accomplishes this mission by inspiring people to connect with nature and providing exceptional outdoor experiences through partnership opportunities for the health, safety and education of all visitors to local and regional public and private lands. 

We have a team of Leave No Trace trained educators and community partners committed to assist as you engage, connect and learn all throughout the year at both our visitor centers and campgrounds. Program offerings include guided hikes; animal, bird and reptile education sessions; historic building and property tours; interactive educational displays; scavenger hunts; Junior Ranger Leave No Trace workbooks for campgrounds and visitors centers; birthday celebrations for Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl, and much more. Learn more about our programs and events here.

Reptile Education Session Gladie
Visitor Center, Kentucky

Smokey Bear and Friends at the Cradle
of Forestry, North Carolina

Raptor Information Session at Brasstown Bald, Georgia

New for 2022, we offered our first ever bi-lingual outreach program for middle school aged students from the Hispanic communities of Transylvania County, North Carolina and surrounding areas to join FIND Outdoors team members on monthly, all-day adventures in Pisgah National Forest. This project was born out of the need to address the imbalance of who is enjoying and benefiting from living next to public lands, like Pisgah National Forest. To learn more and support this exciting initiative, visit us here.

Club de Exploradores 2022 Cohort

Our dedicated team members support campgrounds, visitor centers, sales outlets and educational facilities on public lands in North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana and Kentucky and the Northwest Trading Post on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A variety of experiences occur at these locations from beautiful sunrises and sunsets to majestic mountain views and night sky’s filled with stars, lake time, fishing, kayaking, campfires, relaxing and more.

Anna Ruby Falls, Georgia

Brasstown Bald, Georgia

Hardin Ridge, Indiana

Gladie Cabin, Gladie Visitors Center-Red
River Gorge, Kentucky

We invite you to experience your next outdoor adventure at one of our 20+ locations. Gather information for your experiences at our five visitor centers, stay overnight at some of the most beautiful campgrounds in the Southeast or plan your months-long adventures visiting all of the sites in four states. Be sure to grab your free passport so you can document your adventures! Learn more here.


Let’s Go…

Places to Go, Things to See: