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Tsali Left Loop - Entire Ride

Intermediate
 4.3 (27) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A tour of Tsali Recreation Area with views of the Great Smoky Mountains and Fontana Lake.


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Map Key

11.0

Miles

17.7

KM

75%

Singletrack

2,037' 621 m

High

1,716' 523 m

Low

968' 295 m

Up

964' 294 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

13%

Max Grade (7°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

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

Overview

The Tsali Left Loop - Entire Ride combines the Tsali Left Loop and the County Line Road to form a complete loop out along Fontana Lake and back to the trailhead. This ride is part of an IMBA Epic trail system. The Tsali Left Loop itself is entirely singletrack, while the County Line Road is an old gravel-surfaced fire road.

Along this ride, you'll encounter very little in the way of technical challenges, although a few sections along Fontana Lake have become somewhat technical.

Description

The Tsali Left Loop itself is entirely singletrack, while the County Line Road is an old gravel-surfaced fire road. Along this ride, you'll encounter very little in the way of technical challenges, although a few sections along Fontana Lake have become somewhat technical due to erosion and undercutting from the lake causing some trail sections to become narrow, and in some places, almost collapse.

The singletrack section is very scenic, mostly smooth, and flows relatively well in spite of steep drop-offs toward the lake. Shortly after beginning this ride (which goes clockwise), you'll pass an old homesite on the left; only a stone chimney remains. Towards the end of the singletrack section, the trail rises to a bluff overlooking Fontana Lake and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park across the lake. This overlook is even more spectacular in the late spring (May and June) when the mountain laurel are blooming.

The singletrack eventually gives way to the old fire road--a 2.5 mile gravel lane leading back towards the trailhead. Although the County Line Road is wide and generally smooth in spite of the gravel, it has a few steep sections and some sections suffer from erosion. This section snakes its way along the backbone of the peninsula jutting out into the lake. It doesn't require much skill, but it's challenging enough to require that you be in decent shape.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zack Butler

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 27 votes

#694

Overall
  4.3 from 27 votes
5 Star
48%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
15%
2 Star
4%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#694

Overall
26 Views Last Month
6,676 Since Jun 24, 2013
Intermediate

0%
4%
67%
13%
17%
0%

Photos

The beautiful overlook at Tsali!
Feb 11, 2018 near Bryson…, NC
Great Smokey Mountain National Park
Oct 15, 2013 near Bryson…, NC
Lovely sunset location, but bring lights for riding out.
Aug 29, 2022 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
Left Loop view
Jul 31, 2013 near Bryson…, NC
Tsali Left loop Trail Along Fontana Lake/ Mouse Branch, Smokey Mountain National Park in the Background
Aug 9, 2014 near Bryson…, NC

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Check-Ins

Nov 6, 2022
George Sawyer
Mar 6, 2022
Linda Leavell
1h 37m
Nov 10, 2021
Kim Osborne
11.3mi
Aug 24, 2021
Roderic Shields
Rode with Lisa and it kicked out butts but we did it. 10.9mi
Jul 24, 2021
Russ Gowan
Nice stream crossings. Good to know if you bring Fido. Well laid out flow trail. Clear. Dry. 11.2mi
Jan 6, 2021
Chris Makowicki
11mi
Oct 17, 2020
Joseph Medeiros