“A somewhat more challenging trail with excellent views of Fontana Lake.
— Zack Butler
Lake · Views · Wildflowers
The Tsali Left Loop begins by descending towards Fontana Lake, passing by an old homesite (where only a stone chimney remains). After arriving at the lakeside, the trail meanders along the lake (occasionally venturing up the hillside along creeks); there are some narrow sections where erosion has been an issue and care should be exercised here. There are also has a few climbs to spice things up a bit.
You'll pass through a number of thickets of mountain laurel and rhododendron as well as up through a few hollows where the trail narrows. As the Tsali Left Loop approaches the County Line Connector, there will be a nice long climb with a spectacular overlook of Fontana Lake and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as your reward at the top. This is especially rewarding in mid-May when the mountain laurel is in full bloom. Just be careful not to fall the 200 feet down the bluff into the lake!
The trail then descends down to the County Line Connector and the Tsali Right Loop
, where you can either head back towards the parking area (2.5 miles) or extend your run by continuing on the Tsali Right Loop