While Loudon County, with its multiple boat ramps and easy access to the water on both sides of Fort Loudoun Dam, has become known as a destination for a couple high-profile fishing tournaments each spring and summer, the so-called Lakeway to the Smokies seems to no longer be a mere pitstop for travelers coming from Interstate 40 and 75, but a camping hotspot in its own right.

As evidenced from our story this week on outdoor recreational opportunities in the county, multiple campgrounds, including Yarberry Peninsula Recreation Area and Melton Hill, are operating at or near capacity, which is a sign of high demand and an indicator that locals and visitors see value in spending time with friends and family right in our backyard, rather than making the jaunt to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or the Great Smoky Mountains.

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