Backpacking and camping are economical ways to get in the middle of some great outdoor destinations that are a little too far to drive for a daytrip. Charlotte is surrounded by some of the best campsites and backpacking routes east of the Mississippi and supported locally by several top of the line retailers.
For anyone that can only complete one backpacking trip in the southeast, Roan Mountain is the one. The 14 mile point-to-point hike first climbs through dense forest, eventually bursting out into the 360 degree views of several grassy balds. At two hours north of Charlotte, Mt. Rogers seems a world away. Since the Appalachian Trail crosses through the area, good camping spots are plentiful. Tree covered options are preferable as weather up here can turn turbulent quickly.
It’s impossible to talk camping and backpacking in the Carolinas without a mention of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited location in the National Park System. The Smokies have a nearly endless list of possibilities. For a ready-made, multisport adventure visit Cades Cove for a biking, hiking, and swimming weekend.