Anya K. on Goldmine Loop Trail
I took my 7 month old with me in a back pack. Trail is nicely shaded and quite easy ... It took us close to 2 hours to complete, but we stopped for about 25 minutes . Good morning hike. Love loops.
Joe Z. on Goldmine Loop Trail
It's a little more then 4 miles. I stated my hike on the "Road to no where" went threw the tunnel took the second left at the Goldmine loop trail first part of the trip was down hill and easy. Bring its December all the leafs are down and the trail might be a little hard to follow at first but once you reach the bottom section of this trail you will be following the old road bed and you'll see and old home site. When you reach a fork in the road you will find the sign for camp site 67 leaning up on a few trees. I wasn't sure which way to go do I looked on my map. So you know stay to the right. You will reach the lake bed and see the old road quickly disappears into the lake it self. This marks the end of the easy hike and starts your up hill work out!! This isn't a easy trail I stopped several times to catch my breath, but with some perseverance you will reach the ridge line and it becomes easier again. After what seemed to be a half hour or so you will reach the intersection of the tunnel bypass trail I took the .5 mile trip down hill back to the parking lot where I starred. Over all it was a good trip.
If I was a mountain, I'd marry this trail!
I did the first 8 miles using the Pole Road Creek and Deep Creek trails to circle me back to the campground. Truly, The Noland Divide is a pleasurable experience throughout!
I can understand why its a favorite for trail runners - very little loose rock or protruding roots. Most of it is smooth, leafy earth, with minimal erosion damage. While there is a continuous elevation gain for the first 2/3 of the trek, its a very comfortable and gradual ascent up the ridge. Nice on the feet!
But its impossible to rush through all the visual treats - particularly the Lonesome Pine Overlook; simply one of the most stunning vistas on the southern side of the park!
After about 5 miles, the trail begins a substantial descent that is only partially regained while approaching the Pole Road trail head. At that point, you can behold Clingman's Dome taunting in the distance. Maybe next time, big guy!
There you have it - a soft, well maintained path with a moderately demanding ascent and pleasant to awesome views throughout........a honey of a trail!
If you want to get some miles on your mnt bike this is the loop for it. Great views and lots of different types of terrain. This trail has a bit of everything, climbs and downhill runs. It's a few hours outside of Asheville but is worth it.
Great trail, very pretty area, nice single and double track (mainly single), well maintained, and not too difficult. I rode it on Sunday (direction may matter), and it was fairly easy, rolling, nothing too steep for too long. Good stuff.
NOTE: this is part of the Tsali rec area trail system (even though a search for Tsali here doesn't return it).
Some of the longest flowing singletrack in western, N.C! Super fast, fun and flows well. Great parking and bike wash at put-in. Nantahala area has great fun for any outdoors minded person. Visit the N.O.C. and check out the restaurant there...great food and watch the kayakers! Nantahala Cabins are great place to stay when visiting Tsali. Hit the trails right there at Nantahala Outdoor Center...short but fun! Cant give it five stars because I ruined my expectations after visiting Dupont!!!!
The shortest trail at Tsali but don't let that deter you. It has some fun, fast sections. If you're riding a hard tail get ready to have your bones rattled near the end: it's fast and bumpy. Be ready on the brakes too, you get spit out onto the gravel road where you started before you know it.
Similar to Right Loop in that there's only 1 or 2 big climbs (the last hill before descending down a gravel road back to the parking lot is a beast) and some nice flowing sections. It skirts Lake Fontana for a bit and be on your toes here. A mistake could send you tumbling down the hill into the water. There's a nice scenic overlook before leaving the lake and heading back into the woods. I prefer Left Loop over Right but they're both fun and of equal difficulty.