joyce kilmer national forest.jpg
5410 Joyce Kilmer Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771
5410 Joyce Kilmer Road Robbinsville North Carolina 28771 US

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is part of the Nantahala National Forest, approximately 3,800 acre tract of publicly owned virgin forest in Graham County, NC, near Robbinsville as a living memorial to the writer/poet Joyce Kilmer. Veterans of the Foreign Wars asked the government to set aside a fitting stand of trees to serve as a living memorial to Joyce Kilmer, who was killed in action during World War I. Although Kilmer was both a soldier and a poet, he is most remembered for his poetry about common, beautiful things in nature

One of the largest contiguous tracts of old growth forest in the Eastern United States, the area is administered by the U. S. Forest Service. The memorial is a rare example of old growth cove hardwood forest, a diverse type unique to the Appalachian Mountains. In 1975 the memorial forest was joined with a much larger tract of the Nantahala National Forest to become part of the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness.

Due to a devastating disease of the American chestnut tree that caused a rapid, widespread die-off of the once plentiful tree from its historic range in the Eastern United States, the American chestnut, once the dominant tree of the forest, was affected by the chestnut blight. Although the last of the Kilmer chestnuts had probably died by the late 1930s, their wood is so rot-resistant that remnants of the massive logs and stumps are still visible.

Another more recent loss is that of the giant hemlocks due to an infestation of an exotic insect, the hemlock woolly adelgid. For safety of visitors from a falling limb or tree, Forest Service managers decided to bring down dead trees near the memorial trail in a way they believed would mimic natural blowdown. In November 2010, the Forest Service blew up the trees with explosives, making the lower loop trail much lighter and drier.

The best way to enjoy the impressive memorial forest is by doing the easy 2-mile hike to see the majestic Trees such as Sycamore, Beech, Basswood, Red and White Oaks and Hemlock. Some of the trees are over 400 years old and the oldest Yellow-Poplars are more than 20 ft (6.1 m) in circumference and stand 100 ft (30 m) tall. Aside from the trees there are also other variety of shrubs, vines, ferns, mosses and other plants to see. This popular family hiking destination features an easy two-mile, figure-eight trail and has two loops: the 1-1/4 miles lower loop passes the Joyce Kilmer Memorial plaque, and the upper ¾ mile loop swings through Poplar Cove, a grove of the largest trees.

The trailhead parking area has a flush toilet and picnic tables. No camping or overnight parking is allowed.

The only way to see the impressive memorial forest is on foot. The figure-eight Joyce Kilmer National Recreation Trail covers two miles and has two loops: the 1.25-mile lower loop passes the Joyce Kilmer Memorial plaque, and the upper 0.75-mile loop swings though Popular Cove – a grove of the forest’s largest trees. The trailhead parking area has a flush toilet and picnic tables. No camping or overnight parking is allowed.

Located about 15 miles from Robbinsville. Take Highway 129 North for 1½ miles to the junction with Highway 143 West (Massey Branch Road). Turn left on Highway 143 and travel approx 4 miles to a stop sign/T intersection. Turn right and drive for approx 7.3 miles and bear to the right at the junction of Santeetlah Gap and the Cherohala Skyway. Continue for another 2½ miles to the entrance of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest on your left.

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4633 Santeetlah Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA 2.41 mi
Fresh mountain air and wide open spaces make it easy to disconnect to reconnect. Retreat to the...
4633 Santeetlah Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA 2.41 mi
Discover really good food at Snowbird Mountain Lodge. Innovative menus and ent...
You must call for directions !!!!, 4989 W Buffalo Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA 3.97 mi
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235 Squally Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA 4.41 mi
(828) 479-9791(828) 479-9791
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341 Riverview Dr, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA 4.47 mi
The essence of the perfect North Carolina family mountain vacation, this smoky mountain cabin set...
292 Pine Ridge Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA 4.93 mi
Whether you are looking for a peaceful and relaxing escape or an exciting outdoor adventure. Loca...
98 chestnut cove Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771 5.35 mi
(828) 644-4337(828) 644-4337
14981 Tapoco Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA 5.88 mi
Tapoco is situated on 120 acres in the lush mountain region of the Nantahala National Forest on t...
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14981 Tapoco Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA 5.88 mi
Tapoco Tavern offers incredible outside dining experiences adjacent to the world famous Cheoah ...
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17555 Tapoco Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA 6.3 mi
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17548 Tapoco Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA 6.3 mi
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17548 Tapoco Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA 6.3 mi
In 2004, the addition of the Dragon’s Den Grill was added to the resort allowing 65 guest...
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2-14 Massey Branch Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA 6.44 mi
One of the most visited tourist attraction near Robbinsville, NC by road enthusiasts, nature pho...
504 Mt View School Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA 6.45 mi
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Deyton Camp, 1037 Tapoco Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA 6.54 mi
With over 5,000 Sunoco gas stations across the country, it’s easy to fill up close by.
1037 Tapoco Rd, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA 6.59 mi
(828) 479-9412(828) 479-9412
Fill up before riding the Tail of the Dragon or the Cherohala Skyway
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195 Old U.S. 129, Robbinsville, NC 28771, USA 6.87 mi
Rivers Edge Treehouse Resort offers comfort and style, feel at one with the trees in an outdoor, ...
Tapoco Road, Robbinsville, NC, USA 7.01 mi
Fantastic little pineapple whip stand. Was a pleasant surprise to come across this after driving ...
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