Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tsali Trails

Tsali Trails (Bryson City, NC) uses a rotating trail use system. I was looking to ride the Right Loop, then I needed to ride Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday. June 30th was a Wednesday so I headed to Tsali.

It was about 70 miles from Asheville to Tsali. Surprisingly, the road is mostly 4-lane divided highway. Only the last 12-15 miles from Bryson City to Tsali was 2-lane.

Another humid day in the Western North Carolina mountains. The good thing is that it was much cooler than yesterday.

I headed on Right Loop, which is listed as the easier loop. (Also, the Right Loop has a couple of "bail out" trails.) The trail is a contour trail, flowing the shore of Fontana Lake. The photo here is of the bike on the Right loop with the lake in the distance.

I was feeling pretty good at the first "bail". But, quickly the trail turn more gnarly. More roots, steep climbs, and heavy erosion. This was the first sections I had to walk. At the second "bail", I had enough. Luckily, the bail trail drops you onto a gravel road (which is also the right loop (and for some sections left loop). It was a quick return to the trailhead.

Wish the trail had stayed like the first section. I could have ridden longer. As it was, I rode 4.7 miles for 57 minutes - better than Tuesday.

After loading the bike onto the car, I headed to Bryson City and the Deep Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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