Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

Celebrating 75 Years in July 2011

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree...

The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, near Robbinsville, North Carolina, preserves one of the largest stands of old-growth trees in the eastern United States. Part of the Nantahala National Forest, the 3,800-acre Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is a paradise for walkers, with trails that lead beneath giant trees, some of which are more than 300 years old.

This tract miraculously escaped the lumbering of the 1920s which resulted in the clear-cutting of much of the surrounding areas. Today, the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is home to more than 100 species of trees, including virgin stands of sycamore, basswood, oak, and yellow-poplar. The largest tulip poplars are more than 20 feet in circumference and over 100 feet tall. Beneath these giants, the forest floor is carpeted with wildflowers, ferns, and moss-covered logs.

An easy, two-mile trail winds through the Forest, forming a figure-eight. At the center is a plaque commemorating the poet Joyce Kilmer, for whom the forest is named. Kilmer was a World War I hero and author of the famous poem, "Trees." The Forest was dedicated to him in 1935 by the US Forest Service.

Hours of Operation


Admission Fees



From Robbinsville, take NC 143 West. After about 12 miles, turn right on Joyce Kilmer Road (SR1134). Go two miles and turn left at the signs for the Forest.

Graham County NC Travel and Tourism Authority
Robbinsville, NC 28771
(828) 479-3790


Also Nearby

World Methodist Museum (8 miles)

The World Methodist Museum in Lake Junaluska, NC houses the largest collection of Wesleyana in the world.

Francis Grist Mill (8 miles)
Waynesville (9 miles)

Framed by mountain vistas, vast national forest lands and clear, rushing streams, Waynesville is a great place to visit.