Things to Do in North Carolina

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, North Carolina

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
4.5
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Impressive 3800-acre wilderness that was once the unchartered hunting ground of the Cherokee Indians.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
120 reviews
Excellent
83
Very good
31
Average
6
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Liana
13 contributions
This was a beautiful, moderate hike. Lots of greenery, some cute wildlife, and a fun trail!

Because of high waters, one end of the trail is the closed so you can only enter from the right side. You can do most of the loop, but then you have to turn around and go back the other way, making it about 4 miles rather than two miles :)
Written June 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John M
Raleigh, NC1,844 contributions
This is a must-visit forest to experience what they were like pre-Columbus. It has a wonderful history of why and how it was preserved as virgin forest. The poplar trees are immense and magical. And it's part of a much larger area called the Slickrock Wilderness, and it sits on the NC/TN border. There are two loops to hike to be in the very peaceful poplar grove - the #43 trail. The left side of the lower loop is closed due to a landslide. You can hike up the open right side and then do the upper loop around the grove. The hike is fairly strenuous with its elevation gain and some stairs. It's around two miles in total. There are clean restrooms at the bottom.
Written September 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ty B
Greensboro, NC170 contributions
Couples
My friend and I enjoyed an afternoon hike at this lovely spot tucked back in the Nantahala National Forest in far western NC. It's a rare old-growth forest and really peaceful. The only drawback is the well worn (and on this occasion muddy) paths. It's a popular place and gets a lot of traffic it seems. Nonetheless, well worth your time to enjoy some serenity in nature. Really beautiful in the summer.
Written August 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chip P
1 contribution
Couples
If you’re already in the area, this is not a bad hike, but I wouldn’t recommend traveling any distance to see it. We traveled 2 1/2 hours & honestly we’re a little disappointed. The lower half has more downfall than any hike I’ve ever been on & no large trees. The upper half is nice with some very large Poplars & was enjoyable. Overall, about a 3.
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vonnie J
Greenville, NC154 contributions
Couples
Wanted to hike the Loop Trail, but the lower loop was under maintenace. We could still get to the Upper Loop. Enjoyable hike, but we did not do the whole upper loop since we wanted to drive part of the Cherohala Skyway. It was a good trail except there were several muddy spots due to recent rainstorms. Would like to come back later in the spring and try it again.
Written April 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

EastTNTraveler
Kingsport, TN496 contributions
Visited on a beautiful October morning. With some mobility issues and closure of the shorter trail we were not able to walk the trails. There were restrooms, picnic tables, and several displays at the trailhead. Sorry we were not able to hike a short way on the trail to the large trees. We had visited years ago and did back-packing in the area. Nice to return if just for a short visit.
Written October 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Joy P
Larsen, WI14 contributions
Couples
Visitors to the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest might initially be disappointed by the remnants of many large trees whose shattered boles are abundant in the areas closest to the parking lot. These are hemlocks that were killed by the hemlock adelgid insect; the National Forest Service needed to take down some of those trees to reduce the dangers they posed as they decayed, and did so by blowing the trees apart with dynamite to simulate the effects of windstorm (power tools not allowed within the Wilderness Area, either.) Blackberries and young trees are abundant now on the sunlit areas that resulted. Keep walking about a mile though, past the very unassuming memorial to Kilmer at the center of the two trail loops, and on to the further reaches of the upper loop. While there are large, impressive trees of many species everywhere in this virgin forest remnant, the enormous poplars in the "large trees" grove are almost unbelievable. They're truly awe-inspiring, and larger than any trees I've seen outside the redwood and bigtree groves of California. The entire forest is gorgeous, the walk is easy and delightful (even in the rain!), and well worth a couple hours of your time. It's a magnificent place.
Written October 15, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bbqman3341
Gainesville, GA6,706 contributions
easy hike, exceptional forest with magnificent old growth absurdly tall, massive circumference trees. an easy trek from snow bird lodge.
Written February 1, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

UGAly1
Blue Ridge, GA175 contributions
Couples
There is a well-maintained 2 mile trail through this old-growth forest, populated by large poplar and evergreen trees. It is just off the scenic Cherohala Skyway from Tellico Plains, Tennessee and Robbinsville, Noth Carolina. Some of the old poplars were so large that three adults could not reach around them.
Written October 16, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mark G
Dalton, GA144 contributions
Couples
People, seldom do I struggle for words on tripadvisor. But here, all I can tell you is that once in your lifetime, you need to visit the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest and hike the loop trail.

Along the way, you will see a remnant of the great forest that once stretched from Maine to Florida and west to the Mississippi River as the Indians and the very first Europeans saw it. Almost primeval. I saw around 150 trees that averaged between 300-500 years old in a grove. Most were poplars. We stood by some and they simply dwarfed us. Take your camera.

The trail itself was not difficult at all. Bear left at the beginning for the easiest walk. (Short uphill, long downhill).

The forest is full of ferns and it wasn't difficult at all to travel back in time in your mind and realize these trees predate the very first feet of the pilgrims. Easy to imagine Indians wandering through this pristine forest. By the time I left there, I considered what a shame it was that we cut almost all these majestic trees down over so large an area.

Yes, it is out of the way, but you will never be sorry.
Written July 9, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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