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Hike in Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

Robbinsville, North Carolina



2 miles

Route Type



Added by Brian Whitener

This is a hike that the whole family can enjoy no matter the season and it is a must-see for nature lovers traveling in the area. The Smoky Mountains are filled with treasures and this forest is truly one of the gems.

If you are looking for a fun, moderate hike, Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is the perfect fit.  The inclines are mostly gradual, the paths are easy to traverse, and the scenery is exquisite.

A great feature of this park is the layout of the trail. It follows a figure eight pattern. Unlike a traditional loop where there is no opportunity to shorten or extend your route without retracing your steps, this pattern allows you to choose your distance partially through the hike. Visitors can hike both the lower 1.25 mile loop and the upper 0.75 mile loop, or can choose to forego the second half of the hike by sticking to the lower loop path.

Both sections of the hike give adventurers a chance to observe some incredible vegetation. However, I was most impressed by the immensity of the trees along the upper loop trail. They tower above your head and are so big around it would take the arm span of five or more individuals to match their circumference.  These mammoths are hundreds of years old and offer viewers a chance to brush history. It is quite awe-inspiring to stand beneath them. 

My recent visit to this park was during the spring. The trees and other plans were lush and vibrant, the weather was mild, and the sounds of small brooks and chirping birds was wonderfully relaxing.  A walk through woods like these is good for the mind, body, and soul. Spring had filled the bushes and vines with blooms and I saw several flowering plants that were completely new to me.  It was fun searching for beautiful new discoveries and snapping pictures of the great finds.  I look forward to visiting again in the upcoming months to see the delightful changes the next seasons bring to the forest.  I am most excited about fall and all of the bright foliage that will fill the park.

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly


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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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