Tsali Recreation Area (Intermediate) The Tsali trail system within the Nantahala National Forest has been the Mecca of mountain biking this side of the Rockies for over 20 years. Forty-two miles of beautiful, fast, flowing single-track located on the shores of Lake Fontana. There are four loop trails (Mouse, Thompson, Left and Right) with two open each day for bike riding; they alternate with horse traffic. There is a $2.00 per person trail fee. Check the signs at the trailhead for biking schedule. Tsali Schedule Tsali Map
Fire Mountain Trail System, Cherokee (Intermediate) 12 miles north of Bryson City you will find the area's newest, hottest trail system showcasing approximately 10 miles of smooth, machine cut trail with sections ranging from beginner to advanced. Solid climbs are rewarded with curvy, flowing descents. Trailhead is at the Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee. Fire Mountain Trail Map
Deep Creek Trail (Beginner) Located in the Deep Creek section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, two miles from downtown Bryson City, this is one of the most popular trails for family biking. The four and a half mile out and back gravel jeep trail follows a crystal clear mountain stream. Take your camera because you'll want to photograph beautiful Tom Branch Falls. Deep Creek Trail Map
Indian Creek Trail (Beginner – Intermediate) Also located in the Deep Creek section of the National Park, Indian Creek trail offers a six mile round-trip (out and back). Follow Deep Creek trail for one mile then take a right onto Indian Creek trail. About 100 feet up you'll pass Indian Creek Falls. This quiet jeep trail features a three mile climb that follows the bubbling Indian Creek. It's worth the climb because the return trip is all downhill! Deep Creek Trail Map
Old River Rd. (Beginner) This predominantly dirt-road loop is one of the flattest in the area, but the drawback is that it is open to car traffic. However, the traffic is very light and the road is peaceful and picturesque. Park on Old River Rd. just off of Wayah Rd, three miles from the white-water rafting put-in on the Nantahala River. You'll bike along Old River Rd beside the upper Nantahala River and then make a lollipop loop on backroads through quiet expanses of woodland and forest.
Panthertown Valley (Beginner – Intermediate) This is some of the most remote riding in the area and consists of a combination of single-track and forest service roads. When you descend into the valley you will feel as if you've left civilization a long way behind. Granite domes surround you, and depending on which trail you choose to ride you may experience waterfalls, silent sand-bottomed streams, rhododendron tunnels, or river crossings that require you to take off your shoes and carry your bike. Trails are marked, but having a map and knowing which trails are open to cyclists is VERY important. Panthertown Trail Map
Western Carolina University Trails (Intermediate – Difficult) This nine mile gem located on the campus of WCU is one of the flowiest and fastest trails around. A smooth and well groomed trail, its challenge comes in the form of steep climbs, switchbacks, and lightning fast descents. Restrooms and water are available at the trailhead/parking area at the WCU picnic area. About 35 minutes from Bryson City. WCU Trail Map
Fontana Village (Intermediate – Difficult) If you prefer rougher, steeper and rockier riding, Fontana Village trails are for you. Home turf of the Icycle race there are challenging cross country courses as well as some great down hill runs. Fontana Trail Map
Jackrabbit Mountain Bike Trail (Beginner & Intermediate) An hour and a half drive from Bryson City will take you to the 15 mile Jackrabbit Trail System. This machine-constructed trail is based on a stacked loop design and was brilliantly designed for all skill levels. Beginners can enjoy loops with smooth, predominantly gentle hills while the intermediate to advanced rider will love the twisty trail sections and rocky ascents and descents of some of the more challenging loops. Set on a peninsula on Lake Chatuge on the NC/GA border, the trails wind through woods with views of the lake. Jackrabbit Trail Map
Bryson City Bicycles carries maps and books for both mountain and road riding in Western North Carolina.