Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, North Carolina

4.7
Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is an approximately 3,800-acre tract of publicly owned virgin forest in Graham County, North Carolina, named in memory of poet Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918), best known for his poem "Trees". 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 forest is a popular family hiking destination and features an easy two-mile, figure-eight trail that includes a memorial plaque at the juncture of the two loops. 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.HistoryBeginning in 1915, the Babcock Lumber Company of Pittsburgh operated a standard gauge railroad in the area, logging out roughly two-thirds of the Slickrock Creek watershed before construction of Calderwood Dam threatened to flood the lower part of the railroad. A decline in the price of lumber during the Great Depression also encouraged preservation of the trees.In 1934 the Bozeman Bulger Post (New York) of the Veterans of Foreign Wars petitioned "that the government of the United States examine its millions of forested acres and set aside a fitting area of trees to stand for all time as a living memorial” to Kilmer, a poet and journalist killed during World War I, whose 1913 poem "Trees" had become a popular favorite. After considering forests throughout the country, the Forest Service decided on an uncut 3800acre area along Little Santeetlah Creek, which was dedicated as the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest on July 30, 1936.
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Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
90 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The sign out front calls it a leisurely stroll. Not true. It is a pretty easy hike but definitely not a leisurely stroll. The Spirit Ridge trail off the Cherohala Skyway is a leisurely stroll. There a...  more »
  • nice little hike to see 400 plus year old trees, has bathrooms, picnic, hiking, peaceful place. see of season then not too many people  more »
  • Great hike in a nice grove of trees. We went to the Redwoods last year, so the trees weren't nearly as big, however they are bigger than any we've seen on this side of the US. The birds were calling t...  more »
Google
  • It's a must visit! Love the huge trees. Great for a nice easy hike and picnic.
  • walking these trails you can feel the peace in the air. went during the off season and i felt i had all these beautiful tree to myself
  • One of the most beautiful forests I've been in. Unfortunately some of the old growth trees are gone but still well worth the visit.
  • Nice park, very steep hike. Didn't finish the trail because the path was very wet and rocky that day. Also, the bathrooms were closed! Beautiful mountain drive.
  • Great national park and one one the most unique forest in wnc!
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