My wife and I have the opportunity to move to either Sacramento, CA (a few hours drive from Yosemite) or Knoxville, TN (an hour drive from Great Smoky Mountains). We currently live in Kansas, and our main motivation for moving is to get closer to outdoor recreational opportunities, especially hiking. I am curious which park offers better hiking opportunities. After researching on the internet, I know both have 700-800 miles of hiking trails, but I'm curious which one has "better" hiking. Our previous hiking & backpacking experience has been in Washington State, Alaska, and New Zealand. Never hiked the AT and not sure what the quality of the east coast mountains is like. We are both in our late 20's and in good physical condition. We enjoy hiking for the views, the solitued, and, of course, the opportunity to see wildlife.
Is there anyone out there who has experienced both parks and can help us better understand the differences between the two?