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10. Tsali, Bryson City, North Carolina

Photo: ositoking

Photo: ositoking

The Tsali trail system is sort of a “first gen” mountain bike destination, and while its appeal has faded over the years as newer and better trails have been built, the pull of this flowy singletrack on the shores of Fontana Lake is still tough to resist.

“Well groomed, well maintained, flowy — what more do you need? Great views and no big climbs. Note that only 2 of the 4 trails are open to bikes each day, the other 2 are designated for horses and the trail days alternate so depending on the day you go, you will either be riding Mouse Branch/Thompson Loop or Right/Left trails. All of them are fun. Left and Right are a little longer overall.” -jodpan

9. Alafia River State Park, Brandon, Florida

Photo: Jeff Barber

Photo: Jeff Barber

With 172 member reviews and an average rating of 4.68 stars (out of 5), it’s clear that Singletracks readers love Alafia! Despite being in flat Florida the trails here have been rated “advanced” due to the technical challenge and the sharp grade changes.

“Fun, swoopy, and flowy trails. Great place to ride in the winter and always plenty of other riders here. Really unique trail system that makes excellent use of the terrain.” -Jeff Barber

8. Forest of Nisene Marks / Soquel Demo Forest, Santa Cruz, California

Photo by Hunter 411.

Photo by Hunter 411.

The Soquel Demo Forest is one of the original mountain biking hot spots in this part of California. And while you can still find old-school, freeride-style descents here, most of the trail traffic now heads toward the flow trail–one of the most renowned flow trails in the United States!

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By Jeff Barber
 

“Demo Forest is absolutely the must-do area in Santa Cruz… Period! Tons of work by the guys from Ibis ensure these trails will be in great shape year-round. There are many different routes, so pick your poison. I am one who never minds the opportunity to mash some pedals in order to earn some DH fun. In Demo Forest there is definitely some work to be done in the earning department. It’s a slow steady climb to get to the Forest, but once you’re there, you’ll forget you just climbed to get there. Amazing flowing DH rides with GREAT natural terrain features, huge banking turns, and even a few spots to create some white-knuckled riding. A day of riding Sawpit, Braille, and Flow will give you PLENTY of fun and remind your legs why carbs are important when you pedal back to the car. You’ll take a puff or two with all the climbing, but EPIC flowing downhills make it every bit worth it.” -larryhogueisson

7. Downieville Downhill, Downieville, California

Photo: Gar29

Photo: Gar29

The Downieville Downhill is a classic shuttle that’s been around for decades. It’s so popular that a race and a festival have grown around this isolated California mountain town, and its iconic trail.

“This is, hands down, one of the rockin’est trails you’ll ever see. Well worth the 20 clams for a shuttle ride to the top. Well over 4k feet of almost continuous descent ranging from buff to technical, and great scenery to boot. Not for the timid, but other than that, you can’t go wrong with a run down the Downieville Downhill. There are a number of routes, but the classic remains the best: Sunrise, Butcher Ranch, Third Divide, Upper First Divide, and Lower First Divide.” -John Fisch

6. Blankets Creek, Woodstock, Georgia

photo: GoldenGoose. rider: Greg Heil

photo: GoldenGoose. rider: Greg Heil

Blankets Creek is one of the best-known trails in Georgia–much of its popularity results from its proximity to the metro Atlanta area. But don’t let the hordes of Atlantans keep you from riding here: with diverse cross country trail loops and even a downhill jump trail, Blankets Creek offers great riding for all types of mountain bikers, and the one-way alternating traffic helps spread people out.

The most meticulously well-maintained trail I have ridden. Very fun with something for everyone, including some flat and easy stuff for beginners. Facilities are top-notch, as is the downhill area. That could keep you entertained for an entire afternoon by itself. It does get extremely crowded, so plan accordingly. Bottom line: no matter what level of rider you are, you will have fun here. -bonzo248

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