Joyce Kilmer National Forest

The only way to see the impressive memorial forest is on foot. The figure-eight Joyce Kilmer National Recreation Trail covers 2 miles and has two loops: the 1-1/4-mile lower loop passes the Joyce Kilmer Memorial plaque, and the upper 3/4-mile loop swings through Poplar Cove, a grove of the largest trees.

Who is the park named after? Veterans of the Foreign Wars asked the government to set aside a fitting stand of trees to serve as a living memorial to Joyce Kilmer, who was killed in action during World War I. Although Kilmer was both a soldier and a poet, he is most remembered for his poetry about common, beautiful things in nature. Kilmer’s best known poem is “Trees.”