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Mountain Bike! The Southern Appalachian & Smoky Mountains
by Steve Jones (Menasha Ridge Press)
This 7.5-mile singletrack loop (named for David Thompson, a National Forest Service ranger memorialized with a sign posted on the trail at a gorgeous overlook) is generally thought to be an inseparable companion to Mouse Branch. It makes sense- they are open for bikes on the same day, use a common approach trail, and are short and wet.
Thompson alone has six stream crossings. The trail's setting, like the rest of Tsali, stays near Fontana Lake, twisting and turning its way along the banks above several small inlets. This is the wettest Tsali trail, with 6 creek crossings; none of them, however, require more than beginning skills for a safe pedal through.
this trail ROCKS..........
Fast and fun if you want it
The ending is the best
I highly recommend it !
Out of the four loops at Tsali, this was the most fun. It is a very fast trail. I rode it first with my wife (she doesn't do "FAST"), I then rode it by myself and had so much fun I rode it again. The last mile of the trail is all downhill. I couldn't get the huge grin off of my face. I found a fire access road that leads to the top of the last mile downhill. I had my wife drop me off and I rode the downhill only about five or six times in a row. It was a Blast!!!
This was the first ride of the day. Very fun and fast. The bottom section of DH is the best part of the ride. Out of all the loops at Tsali I encountered more people on this one, so take warning. As the reviewers below stated do this one fast and then jump on mouse branch for a tastier treat.
Punch in at the bottom to set up one of the best single track sections at Tsali. You'll climb up and cross over, begin some down hill on double track which converges into single track then hang on to the bottom. Six creek crossings later finish up with a casual climb out. Don't delay at the top with the tourists, drop right in on Mouse Branch. Plenty of time to recover on the trail.
another fun trail at Tsali. Most people ride in at the top and blast through the 1.5 mile downhill at the end. but, we ride it backwards and climb that downhill section to ride the rest of the trail(mostly downhill rolling singletrack) not many people ride it that way, but if they new about it theyt would. either way, it's a fun fast ride.
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