Roan Mountain State Park

East Tennessee

This state park encompasses 2006 acres of southern Appalachian forest at the base of 6285ft Roan Mountain. Wildflower hunters arrive in mid- to late June for the gorgeous Catawaba rhododendron blooms. On the top of Roan Mountain, straddling the Tennessee–North Carolina border, are the ruins of the Cloudland Hotel site. The 300-room hotel was built in 1885 by Civil War general John T Wilder.

Legend has it that North Carolinian sheriffs would hang out in the saloon, waiting for drinkers from the Tennessee side to stray across the line, as North Carolina was a dry state back then. There's also a great 4.6-mile round-trip hike to Little Rock Knob (4918ft) through hardwood forests, with epic clifftop views into Tennessee.

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