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Thread: Tsali vs Tanasi

  1. #1
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    Tsali vs Tanasi

    Hey, looking to do a ride at either of these trails. Have heard some great things. We are in the area from Ontario. Intermediate-Beginner skill and fitness (my son is much better then me). Just finished three days of rides in the Knoxville area at Ijams, Haw Ridge. It rained hard on Monday and we are planning ride for Friday so please let me know if either have drainage issues. Is the drive about the same time and distance to either. Thanks for your help. Appreciate any comments.

  2. #2
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    You will likely receive a response in one of MTBR's Regional Bike Trails and Rides Forums. They have subforums for each state/region e.g. Arizona, California (North & South), etc...

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    Thanks for help!

  4. #4
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    Tsali drains well from what I remember, shouldn't have a problem after a few days of sun. One time camping there it rained lightly that night but was rideable the next day. Not real technical, but fun and fast. Don't know Tanasi. Have fun!

    Now that I think about it, there are a couple of sections that get hammered by horses, and may retain some mud/water...

  5. #5
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    Tsali would be more fun than Tanasi for intermediate/beginner level. Tanasi's climbs tend to be a little more brutal and have a few more technical spots. Tsali still has some climbing, but it seems less painful and more gradual. I also prefer the views on Tsali.

    If you do end up at Tanasi do a lap on brush creek. It's not technically a part of Tanasi, but it's close enough to include in the ride. Great warmup for what's to come. It's ~10miles of super fast flowy goodness. Best if you can hit it during the week as it's pretty popular. It's not a loop, but most riders start at the boyd gap overlook and take the road to the far trailhead then ride the trail back. I like to just ride the trail out and back... each direction is a little different. The whitewater center is a good place to park if you want to combine brush creek and Tanasi.

  6. #6
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    this thread is of interest to me as I will be hitting both areas in a few months. From everything I've read, brush creek and thunder rock express are very popular rides in the ocoee/tnasi area and i plan to run those two for sure (when i'm not rafting. ha). Tsali looks very attractive, but i haven't figured out where I will ride while in asheville yet. I would like to stay as close to asheville as possible and I think tsali may be a longer drive than some other good trails around asheville.

  7. #7
    white boy extraordinaire
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    BH, depends on what you are looking for. Asheville locals rarely ride tsali as it is a good little drive away and there is a considerable amount of trails with higher quality (and difficulty) that are much closer. It will be flowier (sp?) than most of the trails closer to Asheville and it does have some nice views. Pisgah national forest, Bent Creek and Dupont state forest and my choices for riding when in Asheville. Dupont is one of the most unique riding places you can find with amazing trails to match. There is plenty of info on those places in the NC/SC forum. This link is a good resource as well Mountain Biking in Western North Carolina - MTB WNC as well as the local sorba chapter's website Pisgah Area SORBA.

    Concerning Tanasi, it drains really well there, BI, but is pretty climby, an intermediate would be fine there, just very tired at the end of the day. Actually, I consider it some of the easiest climbing for the amount that you do, well made trails. There is some technicality to it but nothing that is "dangerous", all very rideable.

    BH, Tanasi is nice, thunderrock express is not all that in my opinion, possibly the most overrated DH i have ridden, fun, just overrated. Chilhowee mtn, right down the road, has better DH's. It can get technical and steep there, but it is very rewarding, two beautiful waterfalls. There are two large DH, Clear Creek and clemmer. Clear creek has some VERY demanding technical sections with some large penalties to match, but is very fun. Clemmer is a wide open XXL singletrack with some technicality but allows for some high speeds and is a straight shot down. This area has about 22 miles of riding whereas Tanasi has 17 miles and brush creek has 10 miles (when using the connector you can combine them both for a total of 34 miles).
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  8. #8
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    I have ridden Tsali but not Tanasi. Been to Tsali a couple times from the Ohio/Indiana area. I will echo what others say about it. Not terribly technical. Flowy, good intro for beginners to longer rides. I have taken several beginners there and they've all had a great time as long as they've kept within their abilities, which is not hard there. A couple of the beginners I took there took all day to ride the Left Loop at a very relaxed pace and loved it. I hammered, had a yard sale at about 6mi and did too much damage to my bike to repair on the trail, and had to walk out.

    It is farther from Asheville. The last time I went to NC, I rode Tsali for a day or two and then continued to Pisgah. The plan was to ride there then visit Dupont, but a weather system came in and kept us out of Dupont. Pisgah is definitely worth a look if you'll be in the area. Tons of trails, lots of difficulty options, and a more rugged/remote feel than Tsali. I rode there with my dad, and we did the "Clawhammer" ride as described in a guidebook we bought for the area (I don't remember the title, and it is boxed up in the attic right now). It was labeled as a "most difficult" option. There was a hella climb at the beginning, followed by a hike-a-bike section where we had to lift our bikes over our heads a couple of times, and then followed by a sweet downhill ride that was totally worth all the effort. I'd say the ride was difficult mostly because of the fitness demands. Technicality wasn't too bad, but there were some stretches that tested you.

    The best thing is that you could ride there for years and never hit the same trail twice.

  9. #9
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    Just back from Tsali. We - 9 guys of varying (!) skill/fitness levels. We had a BLAST!

    I did 75+ miles this weekend (Fri-Sun) up there, and really did have a great time. I've been riding for 25+ years, race XC, love technical trails, blah, blah... but had so much fun on Tsali's fast, flowy trails.
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

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