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I'm going to my little sil's wedding in mid-july in Knoxville and want to do a side-trip within a 4-hour drive or so. Are there any really great places to camp (tent camping, rustic ok), or hike in the surrounding areas? We haven't spent much time in the mountains and thought it would be a good opportunity.
 

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If you head over to the Blue Ridge Parkway there are some fantastic sites for camping. If you backpack in, Graveyard Fields is one of our favorites. If you want a campground, the one at <a href="http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/camping-on-the-blue-ridge-parkway.htm" target="_blank">Mt Pisgah</a> is a favorite. Both are within a couple hours of K-town.<br><br>
If you take I-40, know that there are some <a href="http://www.ncdot.org/traffictravel/" target="_blank">ongoing traffic complications from a rockslide</a>.
 

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you can get to the smoky mountains national park within an hour from Knoxville. Great hiking and camping!!
 

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Hi! There is all kinds of fabulous hiking around Knoxville! Smokies to the east--of course, a gorgeous national park, but you do get a lot of crowds slowing you down until you reach the trail. It's also surrounded by National Forest: the Cherokee to the north and south of the smokies, the Pisgah on the North Carolina side. There are some apparently wonderful trails (haven't tried them yet, unfortunately) in the vicinity of the Cherohala Skyway to the south.<br><br>
If you go west from Knoxville, you'll find some incredible hiking and camping on the Cumberland Plateau. (and it's way less crowded than the Smokies). Some areas are kind of remote because of the topography, but others, such as Frozen Head State Park and Big South Fork National River and Recreation area, are a little easier to get to. If you go south toward Chattanooga and then west (still on the Plateau) there is a trail called the Fiery Gizzard Trail--the trail itself is tough but wonderful, and the surrounding area, Grundy Forest Natural Area, has plenty more hiking opportunities.<br>
We go to Frozen Head a lot--it's about an hour from Knoxville, has great trails of various lengths, nice waterfalls and some overlooks, a really nice tent campground and some backpacking overnight spots. For a state park, it really has a lot to offer.<br><br>
Hope you have a fabulous visit! Enjoy this beautiful area!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">Carolyn
 
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