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Thread: Tsali

  1. #1
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    Tsali

    Is the tsali recreation area open for camping and mountain biking?? I have a trip planned for oct 7 2013. Any info would be appreciated, thanks

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    According to the folks at Bryson City Bikes, the campground is closed & the signage at the trailhead kiosk indicates that the trails are closed to all users. You can still drive down to the trailhead area.

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    The cynical side of me wants to say that these trail closures are just a clever way to effect political repercussions for the whole government shutdown fiasco, making constituents who use them angry enough to contact their representatives and get it resolved.

    The practical side realizes that keeping a popular, developed, front-country trail system like Tsali, FATS, or the Great Smoky Mountains open during a management hiatus could very well lead to reckless abuses of the amenities at the trailheads: household waste in the pit toilets, poaching by ATV's and 4wd trucks, graffiti, alcohol, fires in parking lots, etc. - all the crap you can imagine mice doing while the cat's away.

    The upshot is that I'm less and less inclined to want developed recreation areas serving as hubs for our trail systems. In Pisgah, we're used to pack it in, pack it out, leave-no-trace style recreation on widely dispersed trails, so the shutdown just has no practical impact.

    This is yet another reason I'm sad that remote trails like Summey Cove are closing.

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    Well if all the rangers are off on furlough, who is going to be around to enforce trail closures at all these places?
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    Law enforcement rangers are still on the job in the NFS.
    I imagine if they are going thru a closed area & see a parked car, then a ticket will be left.

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    So everyone is welcome to come to Spartanburg to ride this weekend. Our trails are rough and pretty much unmarked, but they are damn sure open.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wncbiker View Post
    law enforcement rangers are still on the job in the nfs.
    I imagine if they are going thru a closed area & see a parked car, then a ticket will be left.
    yawn!

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    Tsali

    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch on 1206 View Post
    yawn!
    A yawn followed by an exclamation point. So it's an excited yawn. The things people think.

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    Major bummer....we have a trip scheduled for next week.

    What about JackRabbit, Brush Creek and places like that?

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    Come ride brushy creek. Park at Boyd gap and bomb down old copper road to the whitewater center crossover and hit chestnut and thunder rock. These pricks do nothing but flush our tax money down the drain then make big show by pulling this stuff. Feds are out of control.

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    According to SABA, Jackrabbit is open. The restrooms at the trailhead are locked.

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    Jackrabbit is open. The campground is closed and the pit toilets at the trail head are locked. I just rode there today and am local to the trail.

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    What about Chilhowie? We have a trip planned for next week, just trying to put together alternate plans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by High Side View Post
    What about Chilhowie? We have a trip planned for next week, just trying to put together alternate plans.
    I gotta go to Cleveland this afternoon. I'll see if there's any barriers up at the clemmer trailhead on hwy 30.

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    I was told by a Tsali local today that a lot of people have been riding and nothing has been said. I was also told that there is 1 ranger for all of Western NC currently on duty and that he is MTB-friendly.

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    I am hearing conflicting reports concerning Tsali. The folks at Motion Makers in Sylva are reporting that enforcement of the closed trails is occurring with warning tickets today & arresting folks starting on Saturday. Not good!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike View Post
    So everyone is welcome to come to Spartanburg to ride this weekend. Our trails are rough and pretty much unmarked, but they are damn sure open.
    So are the trails in Pisgah, Bent Creek and DuPont.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by High Side View Post
    I was told by a Tsali local today that a lot of people have been riding and nothing has been said. I was also told that there is 1 ranger for all of Western NC currently on duty and that he is MTB-friendly.
    I am sure there is more than 1 ranger in ALL of Western NC.

    That being said, do what you want, I just don't want hear anyone coming here and crying about the gray area again.

    It sucks, but there is plenty of legal riding in WNC and much of it is better that Tsali.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    I am sure there is more than 1 ranger in ALL of Western NC.

    That being said, do what you want, I just don't want hear anyone coming here and crying about the gray area again.

    It sucks, but there is plenty of legal riding in WNC and much of it is better that Tsali.
    Please tell me the open trails in WNC that are in the same league, or better than Tsali.

    Serious question, not being a smartass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by High Side View Post
    Serious question, not being a smartass.
    Jackrabbit, if you're looking for a similar style.

    DuPont State Recreational Forest if you don't mind upping the technicality a notch, and some gravel road interconnections. It also has better scenery and variety.

    Pisgah if you don't mind a lot more tech, but a ton of variety in between.

    There are no bike-legal trails *closed* in the area, with the possible exception of Tsali and Kerr Scott...
    Last edited by mtbwnc; 10-05-2013 at 11:32 AM. Reason: did I just get trolled?

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    Quote Originally Posted by High Side View Post
    Please tell me the open trails in WNC that are in the same league, or better than Tsali.

    Serious question, not being a smartass.
    Seriously, Tsali is fun to ride mostly just to be able to say you rode Tsali, but it ranks way down the list compared to most of what WNC has to offer.
    Pisgah Area SORBA

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by High Side View Post
    Please tell me the open trails in WNC that are in the same league, or better than Tsali.

    Serious question, not being a smartass.
    Literally every single one

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    Hey guys we are going on vacation to gatlinburg this next week, was planning on hitting tsali but now need some other options, anybody have any suggestions knowing that I'll be staying in the gatlinburg area (cabin is there at least)

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    The trails at Western Carolina University are open & about the same distance from Gatlinburg as Tsali. 6.8 miles of purposed built trails with around 1700' of climbing. Check out the WCU.edu website for more info. Jackrabbit, near Hayesville is still open. Bent Creek & all of the Pisgah District just southwest of Asheville.

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    So did anybody ride Tsali over the weekend?

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    I road Chillhowie, Brushcreek, all of Tanasi and Jackrabbit over the last 4 days. It appears they are specifically closing the Fee areas, ie Thunder rock campground and the Whitewater center (You need to park at the power station just west of the whitewater center or at the Brushcreek trail head to access the Brushcreek/Tanasi systems). The restrooms are closed at Jackrabbit but the system is open to ride. You need to access the Chillhowie system from the bottom (Cleemer trail) as the campground at the top is shutdown. I hope this helps. You're welcome to PM me if you need any specific information. Good luck!
    I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I just hate vegetables.

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    I arrived at Tsali on Thursday 10/3 just after lunch. The campground and all trailheads were closed with signage and neon tape, but the parking area was still open. My group decided it was worth the risk so we parked in the usual parking area along with a few other cars. We rode the rest of the day without issue. The few people who were riding that day were being very discreet.

    By Friday morning the Law had added additional signs, tape, and closed the parking area. Since everything went so smoothly the day before, my group decided to park at the boat ramp and continue riding. It got crowded quickly and folks weren't being as discreet. Much to my dismay, someone had ripped down much of the neon tape by lunch time. Still, no issues that day.

    By Saturday morning, there was an armed ranger with what appeared to be a bullet-proof vest guarding the trails. He was ready for trouble. We went to Dupont and ended up having a great day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by helmach21 View Post
    By Saturday morning, there was an armed ranger with what appeared to be a bullet-proof vest guarding the trails. He was ready for trouble.
    So glad this government FOR the people has its priorities straight these days!

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    The fact that the govt is SPENDING money on a guard to keep us off the trails, versus letting us PAY to ride at Tsali, well theres nothing left to say.....

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    So just to confirm 100% Bent Creek is open?

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    Quote Originally Posted by High Side View Post
    So just to confirm 100% Bent Creek is open?
    Yes, with the exception being the campground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by High Side View Post
    So just to confirm 100% Bent Creek is open?
    Yes but very crowded!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch on 1206 View Post
    Yes but very crowded!
    We would probably be getting there Friday around 10am....Cant be any worse than Tsali the past few years.

    Whille we're at it, would someone care to mention some recommended routes for a mixed group? Planning to ride all day.

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    Some friends and I ride here in the spring and fall, and showed up Friday the 4th at Freeman's. A couple who drove from FLORIDA had just been kicked out by the ranger (there unpaid, rather than at home, unpaid). We did not get to ride Friday, buy we did not drive 300 miles to skip our getaway. After driving in we found a great place to park and duck into the trail, PM me if you want it. We rode all of left and right loop on Saturday, saw just two other riders who were equally adaptive.
    One of my friends had a crash Saturday so he shuttled us to the top of 28/Tsali entrance. We rolled down and jumped over the pink ribbon at the gate of the fire road above the end of Thompson loop. We rolled in and savored Mouse and Thompson. Called my buddy to pick us up at noon, no ranger in sight. Two folks showed up ready to ride (from Canada and Michigan)- eyes wide looking at the pink tape and closure signs. We showed them where to park to get a ride in, hope they had fun.
    Why boaters were allowed to use the park but not campers or bikers is beyond me. All any of us really NEED is emergency services, and they were as always available. If the ranger has the gall to show up unpaid to kick us out, why not just stay the hell out, let us put our $2 usage fees in the pipe and ride the trail.

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    Some park employees are trained as law enforcement park rangers. Those are the ones allowed to carry guns. They are definitely getting paid to show up and confront the public. Probably overtime right now. The ones who love nature and enjoy welcoming people to the park are home on paid vacation (congress has already authorized back pay).

    The problem with many of the WNC sites that are being recommended is that they are hours away from Tsali.

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    Re: Tsali

    Quote Originally Posted by walkman View Post
    The problem with many of the WNC sites that are being recommended is that they are hours away from Tsali.
    That's what I was thinking


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    Quote Originally Posted by Spishak View Post
    Some friends and I ride here in the spring and fall, and showed up Friday the 4th at Freeman's. A couple who drove from FLORIDA had just been kicked out by the ranger (there unpaid, rather than at home, unpaid). We did not get to ride Friday, buy we did not drive 300 miles to skip our getaway. After driving in we found a great place to park and duck into the trail, PM me if you want it. We rode all of left and right loop on Saturday, saw just two other riders who were equally adaptive.
    One of my friends had a crash Saturday so he shuttled us to the top of 28/Tsali entrance. We rolled down and jumped over the pink ribbon at the gate of the fire road above the end of Thompson loop. We rolled in and savored Mouse and Thompson. Called my buddy to pick us up at noon, no ranger in sight. Two folks showed up ready to ride (from Canada and Michigan)- eyes wide looking at the pink tape and closure signs. We showed them where to park to get a ride in, hope they had fun.
    Why boaters were allowed to use the park but not campers or bikers is beyond me. All any of us really NEED is emergency services, and they were as always available. If the ranger has the gall to show up unpaid to kick us out, why not just stay the hell out, let us put our $2 usage fees in the pipe and ride the trail.
    I just PMed you for directions - some friends and I had planned to go up and ride this weekend, and we still hope to make it. This trip has already been rescheduled once due to my spectacular crashing skills which resulted in a broken clavicle and scapula in the spring. We want to ride!

    As regards the ranger - I'm also a federal employee, and yesterday when I read your post, I was of the same mind. How on earth can someone who's not being paid be bothered to keep the public off of land that's rightfully ours to use? And what's it to him anyway, if he's not being paid? But then I thought about it... that ranger isn't being paid, and he sure would like to be. He and his family are feeling the pain of this shutdown and have been since the beginning. The American people aren't necessarily feeling the shutdown, because its effects haven't trickled down to many private sector employees. So maybe he thinks that it's in his best interests to keep people out and make them mad. The more the public suffers by being denied services, the madder the people are as a whole, and the more likely we are to let Congress know it and get this thing solved more quickly. But that's just my $0.02.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigertubagirl View Post
    How on earth can someone who's not being paid be bothered to keep the public off of land that's rightfully ours to use? And what's it to him anyway, if he's not being paid? But then I thought about it... that ranger isn't being paid, and he sure would like to be. He and his family are feeling the pain of this shutdown and have been since the beginning. The American people aren't necessarily feeling the shutdown, because its effects haven't trickled down to many private sector employees. So maybe he thinks that it's in his best interests to keep people out and make them mad. The more the public suffers by being denied services, the madder the people are as a whole, and the more likely we are to let Congress know it and get this thing solved more quickly. But that's just my $0.02.
    Law Enforcement are being paid. That Ranger is being paid. The fact he is being paid to keep us out is to make all of us "feel the pain" of the shut down.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry68 View Post
    Law Enforcement are being paid. That Ranger is being paid. The fact he is being paid to keep us out is to make all of us "feel the pain" of the shut down.
    Incorrect. He WILL be paid... retroactively, because he has been deemed "essential" and is required to report to work. I'm in the same situation - I'm coming to work, because my duties are deemed essential under the anti-deficiency act, but I won't receive a paycheck until either A. a continuing resolution is passed to pay federal employees or B. all this is over because an agreement has been reached and the government is no longer shut down.

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    Ok, we're headed up to WNC tomorrow afternoon and we'll see what's what with the trails on Saturday. I'll let y'all know what we encounter. Thanks to Spishak for the tips on Tsali stealth mode!

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    Biked at tsali today. There are barricades, tape, and signs saying the trails are closed. But a few people were parking at alternate pull outs or boat launches and biking or hiking the trails. Some hunters said some bikers had received tickets, but it looked like they were putting in no effort to catch people today. The trail was in excellent conditions but the leaves don't have any color yet.

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    I love that people are posting about poaching and the entire forum is OK with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walkman View Post
    Biked at tsali today. There are barricades, tape, and signs saying the trails are closed. But a few people were parking at alternate pull outs or boat launches and biking or hiking the trails. Some hunters said some bikers had received tickets, but it looked like they were putting in no effort to catch people today. The trail was in excellent conditions but the leaves don't have any color yet.
    So bikers got tickets but hunters did not?

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    We rode Tsali Friday and yesterday. It was AWESOME - saw fewer than 15 people on R&L loops Friday, and only 2 on Mouse & Thompson yesterday. Never saw a ranger on the trail. The locals were telling us that he's a fellow mountain biker and is being as cool as he possibly can be, under the circumstances. One guy told me that people aren't getting any trouble unless they're being jackasses (tearing down signs & tape, for example), and then, well, they get treated like jackasses. We have had a spectacular weekend. Thanks to spishak for the Tsali Stealth Mode tips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigertubagirl View Post
    Incorrect. He WILL be paid... retroactively, because he has been deemed "essential" and is required to report to work. I'm in the same situation - I'm coming to work, because my duties are deemed essential under the anti-deficiency act, but I won't receive a paycheck until either A. a continuing resolution is passed to pay federal employees or B. all this is over because an agreement has been reached and the government is no longer shut down.
    Semantics
    He is still getting paid, just late.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch on 1206 View Post
    I love that people are posting about poaching and the entire forum is OK with it.
    I agree, civil disobedience is a good thing as long as these are trails that are meant to be ridden and people still respect proper trail etiquette then I think it is great.

    I have a feeling the turn out at the next election will biggest ever and lot of people will not be re-elected after this mess.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Semantics
    He is still getting paid, just late.
    How would you like it if you weren't paid, but told to come to work anyway? The ranger is a victim just like the rest of us. A little empathy goes a long way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigertubagirl View Post
    how would you like it if you weren't paid, but told to come to work anyway? The ranger is a victim just like the rest of us. A little empathy goes a long way.
    like!

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    Oh, meant to tell everyone that the one and only drawback to the weekend was the crazy number of yellow jackets we saw on the trails, especially Left & Right loops. They were everywhere!! If you're allergic, you might want to steer clear. Mouse and especially Thompson weren't so bad, but the yellow jackets were definitely still out there.

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    To Tigertubagirl (I can only imagine you played a big shiny instrument for Clemson-) glad you had a good time. Even when the trails were open we *rarely* saw other folks on the trail. There are just so many miles that even in good weather meetings are rare.
    The yellowjackets- we also noticed many, and when we were stopped for refreshment it sounded like a distant raceway- buzzing around everywhere. They did not bother us but we noticed an in ground nest at a peak of Left Loop.
    I'm glad you got in a good ride friends.

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