North Carolina for the weekend, Where to camp/ride- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    North Carolina for the weekend, Where to camp/ride

    Like the title says, gonna head down for a 3 day weekend next week. I'm debating either the Tsali trail system or Pisgah National Forest trails. I will be bringing both my hard tail 29er and my cross bike to ride some roads.

    What do the locals recommend I check out?

    -Ross

  2. #2
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    Tsali is less varied than Pisgah. Smoother, flowing trail thats not very technical or difficult. Still fun to ride though. If your bored with Tsali after a day you can drive over to Fontana Village and ride that stuff.

    Pisgah will have more trail and more diversity as far as varied levels of technical riding (steep and rocky and flat and smooth). As far as gravel goes its hard to beat Pisgah. Tons of gravel and its closed to cars (as of right now) so it makes for some really nice gravel road riding.

    my .02 is that Tsali gets boring after a day or two. I'd do Pisgah. If you feel inclined you can always make the drive over to Tsali.

    There is also Dupont State Forest 10 minutes from Brevard which is very "Tsali-esque", with much tamer singletrack compared to Pisgah.
    On your left!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    Tsali is less varied than Pisgah. Smoother, flowing trail thats not very technical or difficult. Still fun to ride though. If your bored with Tsali after a day you can drive over to Fontana Village and ride that stuff.

    Pisgah will have more trail and more diversity as far as varied levels of technical riding (steep and rocky and flat and smooth). As far as gravel goes its hard to beat Pisgah. Tons of gravel and its closed to cars (as of right now) so it makes for some really nice gravel road riding.

    my .02 is that Tsali gets boring after a day or two. I'd do Pisgah. If you feel inclined you can always make the drive over to Tsali.

    There is also Dupont State Forest 10 minutes from Brevard which is very "Tsali-esque", with much tamer singletrack compared to Pisgah.
    Thanks for the help! I think I'll do Tsali for a day then do Pisgah for 2 days. Any recommendations on where to stay in pisgah? Closer to the trails the better!

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    Davidson River Campground is where it's at unless you are the kind of camper who likes giant bonfires and late night drinking heroics.
    When I first moved here 18 years go, I'd been enjoying Pisgah for about 6 month, took a long weekend to go to Tsali. Rode all the Friday open trails the afternoon I got there, rode Saturday trails the next morning, got back to my campsite, looked at my stuff and thought about what I 'd just rode, packed up, and drove to Pisgah to enjoy a roadside campsite the next 2 nights.
    The latter part of the weekend was much much better, including at least one story I still tell to this day (some people camping next to me tried to start their campfire by pouring a lot of gasoline on it- column of fire 30-40 feet high and two people running around with their hair on fire.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    Davidson River Campground is where it's at unless you are the kind of camper who likes giant bonfires and late night drinking heroics.
    When I first moved here 18 years go, I'd been enjoying Pisgah for about 6 month, took a long weekend to go to Tsali. Rode all the Friday open trails the afternoon I got there, rode Saturday trails the next morning, got back to my campsite, looked at my stuff and thought about what I 'd just rode, packed up, and drove to Pisgah to enjoy a roadside campsite the next 2 nights.
    The latter part of the weekend was much much better, including at least one story I still tell to this day (some people camping next to me tried to start their campfire by pouring a lot of gasoline on it- column of fire 30-40 feet high and two people running around with their hair on fire.)
    Thanks for the recommendation, looks like they are booked lol. Have any others? or even cheap motels close to the trails?

  6. #6
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    Lots a free roadside camping along a lot of the FS roads. First come first serve.

  7. #7
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    Davidson River only reserves a small % of their campsites. Most are first come first serve. That said, if you try get one on a Saturday, Sunday, or even after noon on Friday, most if not all will be taken.

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    Well it looks like I'm going to spend all day Friday and Saturday in Tsali, pack up and hit Pisgah all day Sunday and Monday morning before I head home! Really looking forward to riding highway 276 for some road miles.

    Any recommendations for single track in Pisgah near the Davidson River Campground?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by webleedorange61 View Post
    Well it looks like I'm going to spend all day Friday and Saturday in Tsali, pack up and hit Pisgah all day Sunday and Monday morning before I head home! Really looking forward to riding highway 276 for some road miles.

    Any recommendations for single track in Pisgah near the Davidson River Campground?
    Two days at Tsali is one and a half days too much. Please reconsider. As for riding near DRC, get a map. There's gobs of trail to ride. Black mountain, sycamore, bennet, coon tree, twin falls, buckwheat, etc... The list goes on. Pisgah is large.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Two days at Tsali is one and a half days too much. Please reconsider. As for riding near DRC, get a map. There's gobs of trail to ride. Black mountain, sycamore, bennet, coon tree, twin falls, buckwheat, etc... The list goes on. Pisgah is large.
    Is Tasli that bad? Keep in mind im from Michigan and primary ride cross country single track with a Hardtail 29er.

    I'll see if I can find one more night in Pisgah somewhere..

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by webleedorange61 View Post
    Is Tasli that bad? Keep in mind im from Michigan and primary ride cross country single track with a Hardtail 29er.

    I'll see if I can find one more night in Pisgah somewhere..
    It's not that it's "bad", it's just fairly boring. 2 days is too much. If I was driving as far as you, and I spent 2 days of my limited time at Tsali, and then went to Pisgah, I'd wonder why in the hell I even went to Tsali. Seriously. And I would be pissed that no one told me! Again, Tsali, ain't bad, it's just that there is so much better, and so close.

  12. #12
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    orange bleeder...I grew up in Rochester and started riding in SE MI many moons ago. So, my perspective may help...

    Tsali is awesome but Pisgah proper is a true mountain experience. You're traveling 11 plus hours...do you want more XC trails or the moutains? Your choice...

  13. #13
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    The Pisgah area Sorba Spring fling is that weekend. It is a free event for anyone who wants to come. Would be happy to see you there. You will be with other cyclists and I'm sure some will be happy to take you around.

    Pisgah Area SORBA Blog Archive 2015 Spring Fling 3pm Friday April 3rd ? 11am Sunday April 5th
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    The Pisgah area Sorba Spring fling is that weekend. It is a free event for anyone who wants to come. Would be happy to see you there. You will be with other cyclists and I'm sure some will be happy to take you around.

    Pisgah Area SORBA Blog Archive 2015 Spring Fling 3pm Friday April 3rd ? 11am Sunday April 5th

    Such a great suggestion...

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    The Pisgah area Sorba Spring fling is that weekend. It is a free event for anyone who wants to come. Would be happy to see you there. You will be with other cyclists and I'm sure some will be happy to take you around.

    Pisgah Area SORBA Blog Archive 2015 Spring Fling 3pm Friday April 3rd ? 11am Sunday April 5th
    Awesome! I registered for it, will be there Saturday for sure!

  16. #16
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    Unless you plan on breaking the rules, you need 2 days at Tsali to ride all 4 trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by High Side View Post
    Unless you plan on breaking the rules, you need 2 days at Tsali to ride all 4 trails.
    I might do night rides on the others to avoid hikers and the such. If not I can hit them on the way home Monday

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by webleedorange61 View Post
    Awesome! I registered for it, will be there Saturday for sure!
    Cool, look forward to seeing you there.

    My name is Kirk and I am this year's host. Feel free to come up to me. I will have a white '99 4Runner.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  19. #19
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    Or 16 hours combined of camping, riding, eating, and whatever else. Mouse-Thompson, in particular, are great trails but will take most riders less than 2 hours.

    In other words, you don't need to camp for 2 nights...

  20. #20
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    Yeah, all of Tsali can be done in 2 days easily.
    Could be done in 1 day if it wasn't split.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    Yeah I plan to ride the loops available multiple times. Im using this trip to start preparing for the Mohican 100k I'll be doing in May. Hoping to log 30-40 miles a day of single track and more on my cyclocross I'm bringing!

  22. #22
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    I agree only do 1 day at tsali. The trails are bad, but there is so much that is better. You could put 30-40 miles in Du Pont easy if you were so inclined. Pretty much the only reason I make it out to Tsali the couple of times a year that I do is an excuse to take the boats out and spend some time on the lake. That and light giant bonfires, play late night drinking heroics and get the LEO called out on me at 2 AM.

    Seriously if you are driving all that way, I would just drive past Tsali. Bent Creek in Asheville is better than Tsali IMHO, Du Pont is great, and Pisgah proper is where it is at. The Spring Fling will be a good time and there will be lots of different group doing different rides many of them including some seasonal trails. Kirk will be easy to find as he is a single speeder, don't worry, he will let you know. Me, I am the middle aged enduro wanabe drunk with a biking problem.
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  23. #23
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    I agree with all these guys...for a 4 day trip, you'd be better off doing multiple rides around Pisgah and DuPont and skipping Tsali. If you were here for a week, that may be different. But Pisgah proper is just a different level of riding from Tsali.

    And btw, I always just drive a forest road until I find a campsite that's open. It's free in the forest. I think there is one closed right now to bear activity. May want to call and make sure. If you can't find one, which has only happened to me twice, you can hike 1,000 ft from the road and setup a tent wherever you want.

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    So I think I'm gonna take everyone's advice and only spend Friday morning at Tsali. Then head on over to the spring fling Friday afternoon and finish out my trip in Pisgah and Dupont staying at Cove Creek for Fri and Sat nights, and Davidson River Sunday night.

    Kirk - I might need some help with the creek crossing!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by webleedorange61 View Post
    Kirk - I might need some help with the creek crossing!
    Why? What do you drive?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Why? What do you drive?
    15 dodge challenger... lol

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by webleedorange61 View Post
    15 dodge challenger... lol
    Well, you can't dodge it, so you'll have to ram it. Seriously though, unless it rains a bit, you'll be fine.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Well, you can't dodge it, so you'll have to ram it. Seriously though, unless it rains a bit, you'll be fine.
    Okay, good to know.

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