A lesser known gem, Holmes Educational State Forest is located just over the Henderson County line from Transylvania County – about 2 minutes past the road to DuPont State Recreational Forest. This little 240 acre beauty is home to the “Talking Trees Trail” – a short educational loop for kids that also features wonderful exhibits and displays featuring the ecology and the management of the forest. The “talking trees” consist of pushing a button on an educational kiosk that will then “talk” about the specific tree that is being viewed. Several other trails explore the diversity of the property. There are picnic shelters and group camp sites available, as well as ranger-led educational programs for groups, all free of charge. The old decommissioned fire helicopter that sits on-site is another hit among kids, and shares information from it’s former life in combat during the Vietnam war.