The Tsali Trails workshop presented by Woody Keen was an overwhelming success! Woody and Valerie Naylor, both from Trail Dynamics came to Tsali with two pieces of mechanized equipment on Friday, April 15th, and Saturday April 16th. The Nantahala Area SORBA chapter was represented by 20 members on Friday, and an additional 15 on Saturday to learn about trail mechanics and perform some magic on the trails. The biggest and best surprise was the amount of USFS personnel at our event! The USFS had 7 folks in attendance, from outgoing District Ranger Steve Lohr to Trails Director Eric Crews. We were truly surprised and happy that we had such a great response from the local district. They helped use hand tools, chainsaws, and expertise to shape the trails.
On Friday, Woody chose to work on Thompson Loop first. We went to the exit area and completely renovated 50 feet of trail to make the water drainage structures more sustainable and more fun to ride! It was so amazing that in an hour or so, we completely changed the slope, structure, and flow of the trail.
Friday night into Saturday morning brought a big rain, but the area we chose to work was dry enough. Plus, we wanted to find out if our techniques would allow the trail to shed water. We chose to perform a road to trail conversion of the first mile of Thompson Loop. Woody did a great job with the theory behind the work, the NAS volunteers jumped at the opportunity to both design the trail and work some machines! After a pin flag demo, we got to work and created single track from a 10 foot wide road bed. By creating flow, working grade reversals, and water nicks, after six hours we had a fast, flow-y, swoopy section that is more mountain bike friendly.
We also created a rock French drain that allows a spring to flow under the trailbed and keep our bikes dry while speeding through a previously muddy turn.
The Nantahala Area SORBA chapter is here to give some love to the trails of Western NC, and we can’t thanks Woody and Val and the USFS folks enough for their help, dedication, and service to mountain bikers here!
Find more info and pics of the work on Bryson City Bicycles Facebook page!