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I'll be driving from Asheville to St. Louis and would like to set aside an hour or so checking out the Smokies. Are there any quick hikes close to I-40 that you'd recommend?
 

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Big Creek Ranger Station area is your best bet. For the high country and a lot of climbing try Chestnut Branch Trail to the AT to Mount Cammerer, or just hike up Big Creek Trail for a good flat out and back hike. Exit I-40 at the Waterville Exit and follow the signs to the Ranger Station and the trailheads are there at the parking area.
 

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Mt. Cammerer is awesome but it's gonna be a lot longer than an hour or so. From Waterville you could drive up to the Mt. Sterling trail head and quickly climb the 2.7 miles to the Mt Sterling fire tower. About the shortest trail to get you to a huge view.
Make sure to get on the right trail. This link has good info.

Mount Sterling - Hike to Mount Sterling in the Smoky Mountains

From I-40, take the Waterville Road Exit (#451). Turn left after crossing the Pigeon River and proceed 2.3 miles to an intersection. Turn left onto the long gravel road that connects the Big Creek ranger station with the Cataloochee Campground. The trailhead for the Mount Sterling Trail is located at Mount Sterling Gap, roughly 6.7 miles from the intersection (roughly at the halfway point to the Cataloochee Campground).
 
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