The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

Robbinsville, North Carolina

In the western part of Graham County on the North Carolina- Tennessee border is the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.

In 1936 the National Forest Service purchased the 13,055 acres that was some of the last tracts of virgin hardwood left in the original Appalachian forest.  There are many varieties of trees like the giant red oaks and hemlocks and there are huge yellow poplars that are 20 feet in circumference and stand 100 feet tall.  Because this is a designated wildness area, the dead trees are not removed, so in some places it almost looks like someone is playing “pick-up-sticks!”  The forest is covered with wildflowers, ferns and various plants along the trails and streams.

Joyce Kilmer was a solider and a poet.  His most famous poem was “Trees”-you may remember this poem or at least the first line-“I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a tree.” He was killed in France in World War I and the Veterans of Foreign Wars ask the government to set aside a stand of trees to serve as a memorial to Joyce Kilmer.

Car, bicycles, chain saws or any kind of motorized equipment or vehicles are not allowed here so you are surrounded by the natural beauty and solitude of the forest.

I have always dreamed of living in the woods—I think I have found the place to pitch my tent-


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