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  1. #1
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    Tsali camping - off season

    Looking for some information (locations?) on where to camp near Tsali when the FS campground is closed for the winter. I've read on the FS website that dispersed camping is permitted anywhere, except for within 500 feet of a road/stream and that along FR 1286 you can camp only in designated areas (assume that means the closed campground?).

    I have a fully self contained slide in truck camper, so all I really need is a somewhat level space to park that would accommodate a full size long bed truck. Looking at google and other maps, FR 1286 looks paved so little to no chance I could actually park overnight somewhere along that road to the trail head. Anyone know of any spots that are within biking distance to trail/trailhead?

    All I've been able to dig up so far is a thread from 2009 where someone points out that some private campground that caters to motorcycles is where they stayed.

  2. #2
    Pisgah-Pale-Alien
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    There are some spots over on NOC's property they let the general public tent camp on, I guess you could ask them about camper space. If there be sure to ride Flint Ridge and hit up the new trails at WCU too, both are better than Tsali I think, from a trail quality perspective.

  3. #3
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    Doesn't answer your question but......

    North Carolina RV Parks and Campgrounds

  4. #4
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    Okay

    Quote Originally Posted by FatTireGoose View Post
    There are some spots over on NOC's property they let the general public tent camp on, I guess you could ask them about camper space. If there be sure to ride Flint Ridge and hit up the new trails at WCU too, both are better than Tsali I think, from a trail quality perspective.
    Thanks. Looks like I've got more research to do. I get it that Flint ridge is a NOC's trail and rideable from there. How far is it from the Tsali trail head?

    I have Tsali on the list only because I remember hearing about it from the last time I lived on the east coast, back in 2005-2007. Went back to my native west coast for 4 years and find myself in the DC area and looking for a couple day trip to an area with warmer temps where I can camp and ride. I imagine Tsali to be similar to Raystown Lake / Allegrips trails where dirt rag puts on dirt fest; those trail are flat out fun on the right bike (was unimpressed first time there on my AM/trail bike...had a BLAST next time there on my 29er HT).

    I'm looking at heading to Mulberry Gap after Tsali (or similar). I've ridden Pisgah and Dupont back in 2006, so that isn't on the list this time out. Overall looking to expand the list of trail areas I've explored. I'm bringing my 29er HT and my 26er 150mm F/S.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountbkr View Post
    Doesn't answer your question but......

    North Carolina RV Parks and Campgrounds
    Yeah, I have a truck camper specifically because I don't want to sleep on the ground our setup / breakdown camp in the rain while not being constrained with a traditional RV. With due caution, I can get almost anywhere a normal F/S pickup can and have spent the week before christmas on Gooseberry Mesa in Utah all to myself twice before. Definitely aint getting a traditional RV up there in the winter time.

  6. #6
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    Look up Tumbling Waters campground. It's 4 miles away. Full hook up or primitive sites. They have 2 tiny cabins for rent also (that's what I did) and a really nice shower house. I was up there a month ago and it's a nice spot. It's off Panther rd.

  7. #7
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    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Deanomasher View Post
    Look up Tumbling Waters campground. It's 4 miles away. Full hook up or primitive sites. They have 2 tiny cabins for rent also (that's what I did) and a really nice shower house. I was up there a month ago and it's a nice spot. It's off Panther rd.
    Thanks. Their website says they closed Dec 1st though.

  8. #8
    Rogue Exterminator
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    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  9. #9
    Fence guru
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    Best solution to camping in tsali is to park in the ranger district and ride there

  10. #10
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    Not quite

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Let's see:

    1. Tsali CG: Closed
    2. Turkey Creek: Closed
    3. Tumbling Waters: Closed
    4. Rolling Thunder: Closed

    All of the above are closed as it is "off season." Other than what I mentioned about dispersed camping not within 500 feet of a road or parking lot...nothing was solved for off season camping. I know of several locations in the GWNF within 500 feet of a road and even within a mile of a FS campground that are all okay to free camp.

    I guess I am really wondering if there are established areas to free/primitive camp that you can roll a vehicle into and not get harassed.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercusty View Post
    Best solution to camping in tsali is to park in the ranger district and ride there
    What do you mean by park in the "ranger district?" Just within the boundaries of the district? I've google map viewed the heck out of the immediate area and can't really tell among the dirt or paved roads if there are areas off the side of the road that you can make camp. As I mentioned in another reply, I'm familiar with several locations in the GWNF near Harrisonburg VA where that style of camping is quite rampant (and allowed).

  12. #12
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    My suggestion would be to contact Andy or Diane with Bryson City Bicycles and ask them if they have any suggestions. They love to talk with fellow riders and would probably have the correct answers, not to mention they are a great help when you need a bike repaired while in the area. They really are great people.
    2011 Trek Rumblefish 1

  13. #13
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    If your ok with primitive camping. I'd leave a message with tumbling waters or any of the camp grounds and see if you could camp on the grounds but not use any of the amenities. I'm sure someone wouldn't mind as long as it wasn't a big group.

  14. #14
    Big Mac
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    Tsali camping - off season

    Quote Originally Posted by sam-eye-am View Post
    What do you mean by park in the "ranger district?" Just within the boundaries of the district? I've google map viewed the heck out of the immediate area and can't really tell among the dirt or paved roads if there are areas off the side of the road that you can make camp. As I mentioned in another reply, I'm familiar with several locations in the GWNF near Harrisonburg VA where that style of camping is quite rampant (and allowed).
    What he means is, is that Tsali isn't worth the hassle. Even when convenient. Why must you camp there? Why not ride it and move on? The ranger district is pisgah. Which is worth the effort. Tsali is not.

  15. #15
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    Tsali camping - off season

    Camping because it will take most of the day to get down to that neck of the woods. Get there probably after dark, eat, sleep, wake up, ride, move on to the next trail system on the list.

    Or, I'll depart another area a couple hours away, stop there to ride as much as I can, shower up, eat, sleep, wake up then head back home with the 7 hour or so drive.

    Other areas on this trip are FATS and Mulberry gap. I realize FATS isn't particularly challenging either.

    Whether or not any of those three (tsali being the 3rd) are "worth it" or not to others doesn't really matter to me. I want to ride somewhere new, get some quiet time away, and ride in warmer weather than what I've got. I also want to check out some less burly riding...the GF has a bulging disc in her back, so if I'm to take her on trail these days it needs to before xc-ish.

  16. #16
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    Tsali camping - off season

    Quote Originally Posted by sam-eye-am View Post
    Camping because it will take most of the day to get down to that neck of the woods. Get there probably after dark, eat, sleep, wake up, ride, move on to the next trail system on the list.

    Or, I'll depart another area a couple hours away, stop there to ride as much as I can, shower up, eat, sleep, wake up then head back home with the 7 hour or so drive.

    Other areas on this trip are FATS and Mulberry gap. I realize FATS isn't particularly challenging either.

    Whether or not any of those three (tsali being the 3rd) are "worth it" or not to others doesn't really matter to me. I want to ride somewhere new, get some quiet time away, and ride in warmer weather than what I've got. I also want to check out some less burly riding...the GF has a bulging disc in her back, so if I'm to take her on trail these days it needs to before xc-ish.
    Gotcha. Just seems your investing more than you'll ever get in return. Have you been to north mills river? Bent creek?

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