Welcome To Swain County

Recreation in Swain County

Swain County Recreation

Mountain Bike Trails

1. 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 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.

2.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.

3.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!

4. 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.

5. 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.


Courthouse Building
101 Mitchell Street
Bryson City, NC 28713

Mailing Address:
PO Box 2321
Bryson City, NC 28713

Kevin King
County Manager
Phone 828-488-9273, ext. 2231
Fax 828-488-2754

Cindi C. Woodard
Clerk to the Board &
Administrative Assistant
Phone 828-488-9273, ext. 2225

Office Hours:
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Monday - Friday