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Tsali Left Loop - Entire Ride

Intermediate

Trail

11.0 mile 17.7 kilometer loop
75% Singletrack
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 968' 295 m
Descent: -964' -294 m
High: 2,037' 621 m
Low: 1,716' 523 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 13% (7°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Zack Butler

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

Zack Butler

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

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.

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Check-Ins

Oct 12, 2019
Schandra Loveless
So much scenery and solo fun at Tsali! Right loop to Cliff Overlook to left loop to campground. 9mi — 1h 17m
Sep 16, 2019
Chris Taylor
Beautiful ride! 9.9mi
Jul 11, 2019
Scott Nooner
Jul 2, 2019
Leonard Wolf
Jun 30, 2019
Ryan Chaney
Amazing views 11mi — 1h 45m
Oct 6, 2018
Patrick OMG
Sep 2, 2018
Kim Osborne
8.3mi
Jun 1, 2018
Aaron Shafer-Haiss
2nd day in a row, caught the month change on the horse/bike schedule 12.8mi

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 24 votes

#616

Overall
  4.3 from 24 votes
5 Star
46%
4 Star
38%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
4%
1 Star
0%
Ride Rankings

#616

Overall
75 Views Last Month
4,278 Since Jun 24, 2013
Intermediate

0%
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79%
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21%
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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
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
Taking a break on the Left Loop
Jul 31, 2013 near Bryson…, NC

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