Area Info / Biking at Tsali
Biking at Tsali
Western North Carolina Trail Systems:
Possibly the best-known Mountain Biking area in the Carolinas, Tsali has been an MTB destination for a long time now and has even earned the distinction of being on the the top 10 places to ride in the US. Tsali's 40+ miles of trails make up four main, long loops that weave along the shoreline and into the steep forest, ultimately leading to one of 3 incredible overlooks that offer stunning views of the Great Smoky Mountains and the underlying Fontana Lake. Check out the 4 main loops on the Tsali bike trail map.
It is important to remember that all of the mountain bike trails are also open to hikers and equestrians, so please be on the lookout and yield to the slower-moving traffic. Due to the popularity of the area, mountain biking is only allowed on certain days, alternating with equestrian traffic (hikers have access 7 days a week). The Thompson Loop and Mouse Branch Loop trails are open to MTB traffic on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The Tsali Horse Trail (both the right and left loops) is open to bikers on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
To get to the trail heads, take State Highway 143 East from Robbinsville. Turn right to go South on Highway 28 for just over eight miles. The Tsali Recreation Area entrance is on the North side of the road, and is well-marked. Head down about a mile and a half and there will be a parking lot with nearby entrances to the various trail heads. You'll also find a little shop that'll be happy to supply you with any inner tubes, cold drinks, energy food and even helmets, should you have forgotten yours. Lastly, should you for some reason be at Tsali to do something other than biking, you'll find shore fishing, water skiing, camping, horse trails, picnic tables; and of course, the unforgettable views of this now-famous natural treasure.