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A challenging ride with excellent views of Fontana Lake.


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Map Key

8.7

Miles

14.0

KM

Singletrack

1,991' 607 m

High

1,709' 521 m

Low

818' 249 m

Up

772' 235 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

18%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Open to mountain bikes on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and horses on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Description

The Tsali Left Loop is typically done clockwise from the parking area, and it flows best this way. You'll begin by descending towards Fontana Lake, passing by an old homesite (where only a stone chimney remains) as you head out towards the lake. After arriving to the lakeside, the trail meanders along the lake, where you'll encounter some narrow sections where erosion has been an issue. Care should be exercised here. The trail meanders along the lake, occasionally venturing up the hillside along creeks, and also has a few climbs to spice things up a bit.

You'll pass through a number of thickets of mountain laurel and rhododendron as well as up through a few hollows where the trail narrows. Watch out for the occasional confused cyclist who may be blasting down the trail in the wrong direction. There's nothing inherently technical on this trail, but it involves a few climbs and descents. As the Tsali Left Loop approaches the County Line Connector, there will be a nice long climb with a spectacular overlook of Fontana Lake and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as your reward at the top. This is especially rewarding in mid-May when the mountain laurel is in full bloom. Just be careful not to fall the 200 feet down the bluff into the lake!

The trail then descends down to the County Line Connector and the Tsali Right Loop, where you can either head back towards the parking area (2.5 miles) or extend your ride by continuing on the Tsali Right Loop.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zack Butler

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 8 votes

#12356

Overall
  3.8 from 8 votes
5 Star
38%
4 Star
13%
3 Star
38%
2 Star
13%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#388

in North Carolina

#12,356

Overall
12 Views Last Month
3,722 Since Jun 17, 2013
Intermediate Intermediate

0%
0%
89%
0%
11%
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Photos

Great Smokey Mountain National Park
Oct 15, 2013 near Bryson…, NC
The beautiful overlook at Tsali!
Feb 11, 2018 near Bryson…, NC
Lovely sunset location, but bring lights for riding out.
Aug 29, 2022 near Bryson…, NC
Left Loop view
Jul 31, 2013 near Bryson…, NC
Fontana Lake, from the Tsali Left Loop.  The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is across the lake.
Jun 17, 2013 near Bryson…, NC
Incredible view!!!
Sep 24, 2020 near Bryson…, NC
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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 15 days ago
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Oct 9, 2021
BarrotGailey
Sep 25, 2020
Brett Davenport
Oct 24, 2019
Greg Tempel
Oct 12, 2019
Schandra Loveless
So much scenery and solo fun at Tsali! Right loop to Cliff Overlook to left loop to campground. 8.7mi — 1h 17m
Jun 22, 2019
Christine Lee
Wet and muddy. Fast and fun. 11.9mi
Jun 3, 2018
Jiff Ramsey
Apr 20, 2017
Jake Griffin
8mi — 1h 00m
Oct 23, 2016
Derek Rutkosky
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