Cirsium altissimum /Aster Family
The leaves of this plant are not as thick, stiff, and wicked as they are on some of the other thistles. This flower (or flowers, since it is a Composite) is "softer" than many of its' other relatives. I found this one blooming in late August. A close-up follows.
Where seen: Oak Ridge Greenways, Jefferson Middle School Cedar Barrens, Great Smoky Mountains NP