Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

Tsali NC

1055 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Jay04cobra
I was just up in NC riding for 3 days at Tsali Recreation Area. That place was so f*cking RAD! Climb after climb after climb but then you get to have some killer down hills. Nothing like you see at the competitions on the world circuit but still a ton of fun. I have to say I loved every minute I was out there. One of the coolest things is that you are right on a lake so when you are done with the trails you zip on down to the lake and just walk right into the water to cool off and wash off the mud. If anyone is looking for a decent place to ride for a few days and is willing to travel the 10 hours to get there, Tsali is the place to go. You will not be disappointed.

Take 95 north, 26 west, 40 west, 74 west, and then 28. Can't remember which way on 28 though. I wasn't driving. Bryson City is the closest town where you can do some shopping or grab a bite to eat for dinner. It's about a 10-15 minute drive from the camping area.

If you camp there they have bike hangers to perform maintenance and a bike washing station. You wake up, get dressed and ride your bike right onto the trails. Doesn't get much better.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
cycle.tim said:
If anyone is looking for a decent place to ride for a few days and is willing to travel the 10 hours to get there, Tsali is the place to go. You will not be disappointed.
I am amazed that people travel 10 hours to ride Tsali but don't take the opportunity to ride Chilhowee (25 miles of trail) and Tanasi (32 miles of trail), which are only two hours away from Tsali, and are comparable trail systems. I always thought that the Tsali/Chilhowee/Tanasi trails make a great three-day weekend ride.

Could it be that people miss these trail systems because they simply haven't heard about them? Maybe this will help rectify that:

Chlihowee Information.

Tanasi Information.
I've ridden Tsali several times and always had a great time. But what time on the bike isn't a great time? For my travel time, I can be at DuPont in less time and have just as much fun. Heading on other interstates I can be to Chattanooga in about the same travel time as Tsali so that opens up Racoon Mtn and Tanasi. I haven't ridden Chilhowee yet but I'll put that on my "to ride" list.
I live in Orlando, FL and I been up NC to ride Tsali twice now! I found out about the trail from this forum and people also told me about staying in the Watershed cabins they have couple miles away from the trail..The place is great I love going to NC to get away and bike!!
I agree, any time on the bike is a good time. However, this was my first time outside of Florida and I have no complaints. I look forward to trying out all the other trails mentioned here. I'm not sure what it's called but there is supposed to be a riding area up in the suburbs of Atlanta. Pretty decent area to ride with some good drops. Anyone know of this place. From what I was told it is right in the middle of where people live.
Any good hotels/resort type places close by? My wife and daughters dont ride but the like to hike etc. Looking to put a trip together 4th of July, but dont know where.
I could convince my wife if there was something to do while I rode each morning.....

I have three kids. 7,7 and 8 so need to keep them active/entertained. (My son rides)
Thanks in advance for advice!
I don't know how much fun an 8 year old would have at Tsali. You spend a lot of your time going up. Sometimes it isn't much of an incline but it does wear on you. Other times it is pretty steep. Then you have the down hills. If you don't have good control of your breaks then you are not going to be safe. I would not recommend riding there with your kids. There is a lake to swim in but that will get boring after a day. There is hiking though. On the trails and around the town. Tsali has 4 trails of which only two are open each day for riding. The other two are open for horses and hiking. Bring plenty of water. While you are out there though you can always swing on by the Cherokee area and see all the Indian tourist attractions.
Thanks Cycletim. Yeah, my son is actually 7. Took him out on the bike I built him today for the first time (its a 26er) He did great, even drew first blood trying to get over a log. Uphills would not be fun for him at this point, I was hoping for somewhere I could ride in the am and have fun with the family in the pm....this might not be the place.
Thanks for the fedback.
check out it's very close to Tsali..and your about 30min drive to the Smokey Mountains, nice drive through the mountains (nice and green at this time of the year)..Keep taking the smoky mountain expressway and hop over to Gatlinburg, TN for the day, Also like what was said before go to Cherokee another 30min drive, Take the family white water rafting in the Nantahala river (nice and slow for the hole family)..There are so many things to do!..Went with my friends twice this year!
Here are a couple pictures from our trip in March, 2009:

Cabin view:


See less See more
Here's the link of a cool place to stay near the Tansia trails in Ducktown, TN
You could stay at the Nantahala Outdoor Center.

It is also right on the Appalachian Trail.. so as you can imagine there is plenty of hiking there. Even some whitewater rafting and other outdoorsy stuff should you choose to partake.
Tsali is fun, and there is alot of cool things right in that area. There is a trail right behind NOC that seems to be little known called Flint Ridge. You cross the river, climb up into a parking lot, and then you'll see another climb to another parking lot, you'll get to where they do most of their raft maintenance. The trail starts with a climb, and goes up about 600ft along a series of switchbacks, 10 or 11 of them IIRC. It's a short trail, 7-8 miles but has some cool stuff. The trails at Tanasi are really cool also, thunder rock express is a blast. And then in the other direction are the trails at Bent Creek, make it a point to ride Green's Lick if you like downhills, probably one of the best trails around. Then there is the hiking and white water rafting in the area that can be done with the AT and Nantahala being nearby.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.