Tsali Recreation Area

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SHARES
  
AVERAGE RATING
****
4.41 out of 5
View Topo Map

Intermediate
30
miles

Singletrack
↑ 6,000 ft
↓ 6,900 ft
1,832
elevation (ft)

Network
Trail Description
About this trail
Tsali features four singletrack loops that hug the banks of Fontana Lake. The trails are super fast and flowy singletrack with mostly moderate climbs and amazing scenery.

Daily usage alternates between horses and bikes so you don't have to worry about running into spooked riders (check local park maps and signage). The trailhead features a bike wash station and there's also a nice campground with showers and flush toilets. Tsali is an IMBA Epic and with good reason!
added by Jeff BarberWorld Champ July 21, 2010
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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Trail Q&A
Rider Questions
 

0

Q: is this trail open in the winter -timmyd12

A: Although it was cold, I've ridden the Tsali trails in January and February before...Never have known them to close during winter months.

MTBxO2 answered on February 2, 2016. Did you find this helpful? Yes | No

Answer

 

0

Q: Do the trails close in the fall/winter or are they open year round? -KELLBELL

A: I've ridden Tsal trails many times since 2004 and have never known them to close during winter...More specifically, I've ridden them in January and February in the past.

MTBxO2 answered on February 2, 2016. Did you find this helpful? Yes | No

Answer

 
System Trails (4)
System Trails (4)
Tsali Left Loop
Tsali Mouse Branch Loop
Tsali Right Loop
Tsali Thompson Loop
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
what's this?
Recent Trail Check-ins     (122 total check-ins)
  ARDurand   on Dec 29, 2015
  bapearson   on Nov 15, 2015
  Leigh Bost   on Nov 14, 2015
  stump1998   on Nov 4, 2015
  shannoncarrell   on Oct 20, 2015
Photo & Video Gallery (440)
Trail Photos & Videos (440)
 
Reviews (83)
 

Granny Gear

January 9, 2016
Maloney Granny Gear  
 
Review: Great trail. Not super technical. Just more fun and flow than anything. Great trail system.

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December 30, 2015
Guest   
 
Review: For those looking for a super technical trail, this is not it. Tsali is a very flowy and fast trail system with little in the way of technical challenge (although there are still a couple tough climbs and some minor rocky sections/stream crossings).

What I like most about Tsali is that there is a campground right at the trailhead and that each trail is extremely easy to follow with very little need for any planning or a map.

Trails are multidirectional, but best route to ride IMO is Right loop to overlook to left loop. Mousebranch and Thompson are ok but the left loop downhill from the overlook is sweet.

So basically if you want technical hike-a-bike type stuff then head on over to some of the trails in pisgah. But Tsali remains a gem for beginners and intermediate riders or anyone looking for a fast and flowing ride with moderate elevation change.

Similar Trail: LNSP, Tanasi, Dwelling, Explorer at Rope Mill

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Granny Gear

November 29, 2015
 
Review: This is a nice trail system and I imagine if I lived nearby I would use it frequently for a weekday workout. Its flows with moderate short climbs,nothing too steep, very few roots. For locals, it's probably a very fast ride. But if visiting, the trail requires attention because it has occasional sharp drop offs on the side of the trail by the water (ex, mile 3.5ish of Left Loop). If it weren't for that, I would consider this an Easy trail. We traveled 2 hours to get here, and while we enjoyed the ride, we decided we would not make this trip again. There are just too many other amazing trails in western NC & SC that offer more technical challenge and also have comparable enjoyable views. This is an ideal trail to visit with a new mountain biker.

Similar Trail: Clemson, Croft

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Gramcounter


November 9, 2015
caleslie Gramcounter  
 
Review: Tsali is great! We make a long weekend trip almost every year (5 hour drive from my house). Fast, fun, and flowy singletrack with very little double track.

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Granny Gear

October 19, 2015
 
Review: Beautiful to behold, fun and fast to ride!
Great campground too.

Similar Trail: Raccoon Mountain in chattanooga, TN

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Granny Gear

September 18, 2015
jrf8592 Granny Gear  
 
Review: Great Trail system. Thompson loop is fun and has a great down hill. Didn't make it all the way through left loop till I blew a tube and had to hike out. Cant wait to go back and do left loop again and right loop. Mouse trap was fun too.

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Granny Gear

September 13, 2015
 
Review: I'm amazed at some of the lackluster reviews here. I'll agree that Tsali is not nearly as technical as many other trials in NC, but to say it isn't fun , or to call it boring is nuts. Tsali is a good ride, and definitely offers enough in the way of climbing and descending. Do the right and left loops with the overlooks to make a long ride. I've never been a huge fane of the Thompson loop, but I do like riding it in reverse to what the normal way is especially during the weekdays when none is there.

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Gramcounter

August 5, 2015
man.cave Gramcounter  
 
Review: I rode Tsali again a few weeks ago, and I have to say, it is somewhat disappointing. Don't get me wrong, I respect what that trail was 20 years ago, but it is grown over in several places and just nothing there to write home about. It is just "OK" to todays standards. I don't plan on going back, unless something changes, Bent creek, Pisgah, and Dupont, are just so much better, and all 3 of those are different. If you like fast flowing lake trails, then the trails at Kerr Scott in Wilkesboro, NC are a lot better.

Similar Trail: OVT, Warrior Creek, Lake Norman State Park

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Bunny Hop

July 6, 2015
 
Review: From a flatlander down towards Charleston SC I was excited about getting back up to Tsali. Weather wasn't the best over the 4th. Held out till Sunday and was able to get a ride in on the Mouse and Thompson trail. Looking forward to the next time.

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Trailblazer


July 2, 2015
aewynn0915 Trailblazer  
 
Review: good trails dont get me wrong but a little repetitive

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Tsali Recreation Area MTB Trail 4.41 out of 5 based on 83 ratings. 83 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed
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