• Smoky Mountains

    Cherokee National Forest – Lost Creek – Camping

    Difficulty: 1 Time To Complete: 2.0 days Distance: 0.0 miles Seasonality: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter Dog Friendly: On Leash Only If you are looking for a little seclusion and a lot of fishing, this grouping of 15 individual sites offers some of the best camping available in Cherokee National Forest. Lost Creek Campground is one of a handful of campgrounds in the forest that is open year round and with minimal facilities (think vault toilets and that’s pretty much it), so you’ll be roughing it with others that prefer a similar camping style. Whether you’re looking to spend your weekend rafting, hiking, biking, or even just watching the wildlife,…

  • Smoky Mountains

    14 Awesome Places to Camp in Tennessee

    There’s nothing quite like sleeping out in the great outdoors with a campfire crackling nearby and the stars twinkling in the sky. From the quiet beauty of the Tellico River to the incredible hiking opportunities in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Volunteer State is full of waterfalls, mountains, and forests to explore just outside your tent flap. Whether you’re looking for modern cabin amenities on top of Mt. LeConte, a more rustic backpacking experience along the Appalachian Trail, or something in between, we’ve put together a list of 14 awesome places to check out the next time you’re planning a camping trip in Tennessee. 1. Cades Cove With tons…

  • Smoky Mountains

    19 Awesome Places to See in Tennessee

    Tennessee is home to some of the most amazing scenery in the nation. With the Appalachian and Smoky Mountains to the east, the vast open land to the west, and everything in between, you will never regret time spent in the Volunteer State. Here, we put together a list of 19 of the best places to climb, hike, and bike the next time you find yourself visiting Tennessee. 1. Sunset Rock Location: Chattanooga Why it Makes the List:  Sunset Rock is located just a few miles from downtown Chattanooga, offering stunning panoramic views of the Tennessee River and Lookout Valley.Best Nearby Adventure: This spot is a popular hiking destination, but the trad…

  • Smoky Mountains

    10 Best Places to Camp Near Knoxville

    Over the course of its history, the city of Knoxville has been through tremendous changes. From its rustic 18th century beginnings and deeply divided Civil War days to its postwar wholesaling and manufacturing boom, 1980s World Fair days and recent downtown revitalization, each new era seems to redefine its sense of place. One thing about Knoxville that just refuses to waver, though, is the natural beauty that surrounds it in every direction. From the lush state parks north and west of town to the Great Smoky Mountains and Cherokee National Forest flanking its southern and eastern reaches, there’s always an outdoor oasis nearby just waiting to be explored. Here are…

  • Smoky Mountains

    20 Knoxville-Area Adventures to Do This Year

    Dust off your bike, synch up your harness, and blow up your inner tube, because warmer weather is on its way, and it’s time to get out and do stuff. You can get started with this list of 20 must-do adventures to take near Knoxville this year. 1. TRAIL RUN AT THE URBAN WILDERNESS  The Urban Wilderness Corridor is Knoxville’s pride and joy for outdoor recreation. Within its vast 1,000 acres of green space are miles upon miles of singletrack and double-track trails, connecting some of the city’s favorite parks with one another. For trail runners, it’s a dream come true, offering a quick, nearby run that feels a million…

  • Smoky Mountains

    Insider’s Guide to Camping in the Smokies

    Known as much for its majestic beauty as for the fact that it’s one of the biggest protected areas in the Eastern U.S. for black bears, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a revered place for campers to test their mettle while surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. Encompassing more than 522,000 acres across Tennessee and North Carolina, with 16 mountain peaks exceeding 6,000 feet in elevation, the behemoth park is a naturalist’s playground. With 730 miles of fish-bearing streams, 850 miles of backcountry trails, more than 100 backcountry campsites, and 1,000 additional campsites on developed grounds, there is no shortage of things to do. Lodging in the Smokies If you…

  • Smoky Mountains

    4 Best Wildflower Hikes in the Smokies

    Every year, just before the trees leaf and the shrubs turn to blankets of green, the Smoky Mountains put on some of the best wildflower shows around. You can drive on I-40 cutting through the mountains and catch a glimpse of the splendor, but the real beauty comes on those long, winding hikes that lead to open meadows full of wildflowers and color-filled trees.While the blooming season is well underway, the best part about spring and summer in the Smokies is that you’re never really too late. Starting in late March the first glimpse of color speckles the hills and opens the door to more than 1,600 flowering species that…

  • Smoky Mountains

    7 Most Stunning Sunset Hikes Around Knoxville

    What better way to reward a vigorous effort on the trail—or up a summit—than by sitting back and soaking up the serenity of one of nature’s most beautiful shows? Fortunately, Knoxville has plenty of gorgeous sunset hikes right in its backyard. Whether you’re sticking close to town or venturing further afield, Knoxville is the perfect launching point for your next memorable stroll in the woods. Here are seven recommended sunset hikes in and around Knoxville that are sure to take your breath away. 1. HIGH GROUND PARK This historical landmark in South Knoxville boasts excellent views of the city and is known for its picturesque sunsets. Once the site of…

  • Smoky Mountains

    A Guide To Campfire Safety

    After two months of exceptional drought in 2017, forests across the Southeast were like a tinderbox.  “When the leaves started falling, we had no rain to wet them down,” said Tennessee State Park Ranger Stuart Carroll. “If we get periodic rain, the leaves capture the water and help the soil stay moist. But, this year, the rain just seemed to shut off, and we had this incredible load of leaves, limbs and brush.”  Due to lighting strikes and blazes started by people, hundreds of forest fires ignited the heavy load in November, burning 119,000 acres from Alabama to Virginia. In Gatlinburg, Tenn., fires claimed the lives of 14 people (at…

  • Smoky Mountains

    The 10 Best Hikes in the Smokies

    From the smoke-shrouded summit of LeConte and the open-armed expanses of Andrews Bald, down into the laurel laden hollows of Porters Creek and the historic homesteads of Cades Cove, it’s difficult to overstate the majesty of the Smokies. If anything, the grandeur can be overwhelming. With such a depth and breadth of wilderness to take in, it’s hard to know where to start. Have no fear. We introduced you to the general layout of the park with our Guide to the Smokies, and now we’re ready to dig a little deeper with our list of the best hikes in the Smokies. Any difficulty, any length, and in any season, we’ll…