This hiking spot in the Tennessee mountains will transport you to the Swiss Alps for free
Traveling the world may seem like a dream for those who consider themselves travel-savvy.
Sometimes traveling that far isn’t in the cards, but destinations that have the same beauty are actually closer than you think.
Roan Mountaintain in Carter County, Tennessee is surrounded by a state park, and exploring the area will make you feel like you’re right in the middle of the grassy hills of Switzerland.
The most popular and beautiful hiking trails on the mountain are called the Grassy Ridge Bald and the Jane Ridge Bald, both of which are part of the Appalachian Trail and offer a wide expanse of land to romp or pitch a tent. .
There are a total of about 12 miles of hiking trails, and the state park encompasses more than 2,000 acres of southern Appalachian forest, even spilling over the border into North Carolina.
There are walks of all sorts of difficulty levels, but they all offer wonderful views of green hills, bright orange sunsets and a colorful bouquet of mountain flowers that occasionally bloom.
The River Doe is also nearby, so there are a few creeks and small waterfalls you might find along the way. People also like to fish in the creek.
The park is open year-round, and there is no charge to enter and explore the dreamy mountains, which makes it even more special.
If you’re trying to explore every inch of the 2,000-acre park, you can stay in one of the 2-bedroom cabins on-site starting at $140. Camping starts at $39.
Address: 527 TN-143, Roan Mountain, TN 37687
Why you need to go: It’s basically a free hike in Europe without ever leaving the United States!
This article has been updated since it was first published on February 3, 2020.
Before you go, check out our responsible travel guide to be informed, be safe, be smart, and above all, be respectful on your adventure.