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Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
Joyce Kilmer Plaque
This forest is an outstanding example of a cove hardwood forest, with thick, rich soils, abundant moisture and a diversity of flora.  It was recognized as one of the "very few remaining tracts of virgin hardwood in the Appalachians" in 1936 when 3,800 acres were dedicated as a living memorial to Joyce Kilmer.  Best known as the author of the poem, "Trees", Kilmer had enlisted in World War I and was killed while on an scouting mission.

Some trees in the area are more than 20 feet in circumference , stand over 100 feet tall and may be more than 400 years old.  The forest floor is carpeted with a garden of wildflowers, ferns and mossy logs from fallen trees.
Loop Trail

This majestic forest can only be seen by foot.  From the parking lot, there are two loop trails, totalling 2 miles, which wind through the area and provide excellent views of the "big trees".  Although in wilderness, this trail is easy to follow and  well  maintained., and suitable for all ages who love the forest.  There are rest room facilities at the trailhead, as well as an interpretive shelter and picnic sites.

Annually, some 35,000 visitors come to the Memorial, to stand in awe of the woods and nature.  We can hope this is what Joyce Kilmer  inspired with his poem.

If you would like a beautiful framed copy of the poem, Trees, it is available thru his grand daughter's web site HERE.


Copyright © 2011 Partners of the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness, Inc. Designed by Richard G. Evans