TSALI ?? OT but paddling is involved

-- Last Updated: Jul-11-07 9:25 PM EST --

Next month I am taking my second trip this season to the Nantahala for a few days of paddling. Since my trip last month I have started doing some mountain biking and I am having a ball. My question is for anyone who has biked the TSALI Trail. Jarvis (coyotequip)and I are planning on taking our bikes with us on this trip and I am looking for any take on these trails, given that I am new to mountain biking and by no means an athlete, Am I getting in over my head? What say ye?

I will be taking this to a bike forum as well but I wanted to get the 411 from this group . I know you guys and know how to read through this boards responses. I am afraid that since I don’t know the personalities on the bike forum I could get answers from souped up Red Bull Jockeys who will say its a cake walk, only to get there and find it to be a roller coaster at Six Flags :-0

Thanks in advance,

Some of the best…
fast MTB trails in the east. well manicured trails with great singletrack and fast turns. Enjoy it!


Take the “mouse” trail
Mostly single track with lots of ups and downs.

There is only one place where you might want to get off the bike and walk for about 25 feet.

It is a smooth large rock that slopes off towards a drop off far below into Fontana Lake.

My wife and I chickened out and walked around it.

It is also a good place to stop for lunch.

Watch out for the occasional young crazies coming in the opposite direction. They think everyone is as good as they are and are liable to play chicken with you. (We pull off and watch them go screaming by)

Don’t go there on a weekend. Way too crowded.

combine a day of paddling on the Nantahala and another day of peddling in Tsali and it doesn’t

get any better than that.




The tsali trails are pretty easy

– Last Updated: Jul-12-07 10:52 AM EST –

but they may test your conditioning. No big drops or scary downhills. They are fast mostly singletrack. The trails are broken up into sections so you can easily get away with only doing 10 miles or so but it you want an epic ride just group the sections together. There is a really nice campground at the put in. its fills up pretty quickly in the summer.

Did the right loop a couple times
My son and I did the Right Loop on our “off day” of paddling - It’s about 11 miles and can be combined with the Left Loop for a total of about 19 miles - but you’ll technically be going the “wrong way” on the second loop. Never had any problem with people riding in the opposite direction.

The open sides rotate days - MWFSun the right and left loops are open, TThSat the named trails are open - they are a little shorter. The right loop is single track in name only - my son, who is a racer, says there’s nowhere you can’t pass. There are a couple of significant climbs. I walked 'em.

VERY doable for beginning riders. Not really technical at all. There are also trails at the NOC (ask at the bike counter) and some local rides in the evening in the area (road biking?)

Have a great time!

If you want the technical stuff head down toward Pisga!!!

I’ve ridden there a couple of times over the years. GREAT PLACE! The trails are always a blast. I’ve only ever done the right and left loops, though…the other ones are never open on the days I end up going. I’ve also ridden around in Pisgah NF, which is another excellent, but different place to ride.

I took my dad on a trip a few years back to both Tsali and Pisgah. We did right and left at Tsali, and then did the Clawhammer ride in Pisgah (climb to the top of Black Mtn and back down to the river) out of the Davidson River area. He was a total newbie and handled both rides well.

Thanks everybody. Great responses. I will report back after the trip (if I survive :slight_smile: