Single track and double track with fast descents and a few climbs
The trailhead for the Mouse Branch loop is located just south of the Tsali Campground. From the trailhead sign head west (to the right) up a hill. In less than ½ a mile you will reach an intersection. Here the Mouse Branch loop begins. Follow the trail signs to the right. The logging road will enter the woods and become single track. As you barrel down this incredible section of trail, beware of the many water bars and some rutted out sections. After approximately 4 miles, the trail will turn the left and begin heading up a hill back to the intersection from which you began. The trail is well marked. Try alternating directions around the loop for a completely different ride.
How to get there:
From Bryson City head South on US 19 for 4 miles. At the fork continue on US-19/US-74 for five miles and then turn right onto State Highway 28. After approximately 3 miles, turn right (at the top of a hill) into the Tsali Recreation Area. Follow a dirt road down a hill to the Tsali Campground. At the end of the road is a parking lot. A sign for the Thompson and Mouse Branch loops is on the left side of the road before the parking lot.
There is a $2.00/day or $15.00/year trail fee. Since the trails are also used by equestrians and hikers mountain bikes are only allowed on the trail Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.