Centuries-old Skyscrapers in the Nantahala National Forest
Towering between the Cherohala Skyway and Tail of the Dragon are 500 to 600 year old trees in a 3,800-acre old-growth hardwood forest named after journalist, poet and U.S. Army veteran Joyce Kilmer – author of the poem “Trees”. Many of these natural skyscrapers root fifteen feet wide or greater and tower 100 feet into the air. Mossy rocks, fallen specimens, a waterfall and an undulating loop trail welcomes all day-hikers – including leashed, four-legged companions - to experience the meditative, subterranean micro-climate.
Tip: Naked Ground Trail - adjacent to Joyce Kilmer loop - leads into the Slickrock Wilderness for premiere, unspoiled backcountry hiking. Be advised, overnight parking is prohibited at the Memorial Forest.