Tsali Recreation Area


Located near Fontana Lake, Tsali Recreation Area is nationally known for its 42-mile trail system. The 4-loop network is open to hikers and horses, but the system is best known as a challenging mountain bike course.

The area has a 42-site campground with accessible showers and restrooms. The nearby boat ramp, providing lake access, is especiallypopular with anglers. Tsali is the closest national forest campground to the popular Nantahala Gorge.

The Tsali Recreation Area includes Grassy Gap (#2630), Horse Branch (#2630A), Meetinghouse (#37), Meetinghouse Mountian (#2540), Mouse Branch Loop (#152A), Panther Creek (#68), Shell Stand (#418), Thompson Connector (#152B), Thompson Loop (#152), Tsali Left Loop (#38A) and Tsali Right Loop (#38).

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At a Glance

Reservations: First Come First Served
Area Amenities: Accessible,Boat ramp,Tent camping,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Fees Camping fee - $15.00 fee per night per site.
Open Season: April 1 - October 31
Usage: Light
Closest Towns: Robbinsville
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Flush

General Information


From Asheville, NC: Take I-40 west to exit 27 onto U.S. 19/74. Stay on U.S. 74 west to NC 28 west. Turn right and go 5 miles, look for sign on right.

From Knoxville, TN: Take U.S. 129 south through Maryville. Stay on U.S. 129 to Deals Gap. Take left onto NC 28 east. Sign is 25 miles on left.

From Bryson City: Take U.S. 19 south for 9 miles to NC 28 west. Turn right on NC 28. Go 5 miles and look for sign on right.



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Camping & Cabins

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Horse Riding & Camping

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Water Activities

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Boat ramp
Toilets Showers and Flush toilets available at the Tsali Campground from April 15- October 31
Accessible Accessible restrooms and campsites in the Tsali Campground are located in the lower loop.
Picnic tables
Parking Trailhead parking lot is for day trail use. Upper parking lot reserved for horse trailers.
Tent camping
Drinking water