Almond, NC – Tsali Trail is named after a Cherokee Indian who gave his life so that a remnant of his people might stay in the Great Smoky Mountains. He, his oldest son, and his brother-in-law were executed then buried just outside the stockade in Bushnell, a community that is now covered by the Fontana Lake waters. Tsali’s wife and his youngest son returned to their mountain home where they and the 1000 plus Indians who had hidden in the mountains were finally left alone. Their descendants now reside on the 57,000-acre Qualla Boundary better known as Cherokee, NC.
41 campsites are available at the Tsali campground along with showers and flush toilets. You may also backpack and camp anywhere on forest land, except in designated wildlife fields and in trailhead parking lots. Tsali also offers a free boat launch site and ample parking is available.
Tsali has 39 miles of trails in a four loop system that wind around the Fontana Lake and through US Forest Service Land. Bikers, hikers, and horseback riders all enjoy the trails and the breath-taking views they have to offer. Tsali Recreation Area requires a $2 per bike or horse trail use fee, or you may pay $15 for a season pass.