Joyce Kilmer Metric Loop

        The Joyce Kilmer loop is 58 miles, starting from the Rattler Ford campground at the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest (south of the Smokey Mountain National Park in North Carolina). This is a great ride though motorcycle traffic can be heavy at times, especially near Deal's Gap at the 42 mile mark.

Pick up food at Robbinsville early in the ride and carry it to the rest stop on top of the mountain, a scenic overlook with no store; the Appalachian Trail passes through here. There are a couple of scenic stops later in the ride, the Fontana Dam near the Fontana Village and Santeetlah Lake.

Joyce Kilmer Creek 58-mile loop map
        The route finishes on a quiet country road after following a scenic river for several miles. The final five miles has some rough pavement and grades that can hurt if you're tired.

This is a mountainous loop with a lot of climbing, the road curves often and is rarely flat. The total elevation gain is 5,500', starting at 2,150' with a maximum elevation of 3,160'

Joyce Kilmer elevation profile
        Directions to start (from Robbinsville, NC):

Travel NorthWest through Robbinsville on 143/129. One mile outside Robbinsville, turn left to continue on 143. Turn right at the next T-junction to continue on 143 (curvey mountain road) to Santeetlah Gap (the Cherohala Skyway begins here). At Santeetlah Gap turn right and continue 2 miles to the Rattler Ford Group Camp Ground. Turn left into the camp ground.

The Robbinsville Microtel Inn is just off the route at 13.7 miles. This map of Graham County, NC shows a nice overview of the area.

Google Maps driving directions to Joyce Kilmer.

Directions to Joyce Kilmer
Cue sheet Route map Google Earth file: