Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is a truly special place. Getting there takes some time – about 2hrs, but the opportunity to wander around it’s exceedingly rare old growth hardwood is well worth the trip. Wandering around it’s numerous loop trails, expect to find tulip poplar trees over 100′ tall and 20′ in circumference. This is a true step back in time to what our forests were like prior to the logging boom of the early 1900’s. These breathtaking beauties are particularly spectacular if you can catch them in the fall.

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 2 miles

Map: NatGeo 781; Ocoee and Tellico

Location: Approx. 2 hours west of Asheville. Take I840W to Exit 27. Exit right onto U.S. 19/74 toward Waynesville. Go about 47 miles, and bear right on NC 28N. Go 5 miles, and turn left on NC 143 to Robbinsville. From Robbinsville take NC 143W. After about 12 miles, turn right on Joyce Kilmer Road (SR1134). Go 2 miles and turn left to memorial forest.


Photo Courtesy of Romantic Asheville

There are few things as awe-inspiring as watching water rush down a mighty waterfall while you’re enveloped in fall foliage. That’s what makes Crabtree Falls one of our favorite hikes for reveling in WNC’s stunning fall colors.

This rewarding hike sits on the border of the Black Mountain range and the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers a couple of options: a 3 mile out-and-back or a 3.5 mile loop. After following the Crabtree Falls Trailhead to the falls, you can choose to return on the same path or climb the stairs that cross Big Crabtree Creek and follow the loop path along the creek for a 1.7 mile hike back to the parking area. While the loop path is a bit more challenging, we think it’s definitely worth the effort.

Trail: Crabtree Falls
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 3/3.5 (loop) miles
Map: NatGeo 779; Linville Gorge/Mount Mitchell
Location: Crabtree falls is at mile marker 339.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Roughly 45 miles north of Asheville you will find the parking area for Crabtree Falls

Be careful while hiking and exercise extra caution around water; keep an eye out for slippery surfaces and wear proper footwear. Always follow our Outdoor Safety Basics.