I currently live in the southeast and generally avoid hiking during the summer months due to the high temperatures and bugs. However, I'll likely find myself with a chunk of time off (2-3 weeks) this July and would like to use at least some of it on a hike.
Location: preferably within an 8-12 hour drive from the southeast (i.e. as far west as New Orleans and as far north as DC).
Difficulty: rehabbed a bum knee last year and I haven't done distance on it yet; shooting for 12-15 mile days; I enjoy varied environments but can't do multiple thousand foot ascents/descents for multiple days in a row comfortably yet.
Style: prefer end-to-end hikes over loops
I've considered the Foothills Trail (complete) or the Palmetto Trail (Charleston / Awendaw Passage up to Columbia / Capital City passage). The latter appears to be mostly marsh-side walking which while good for my knee, doesn't sound the most scenic, and I'm sure is the buggiest.