Forest Trail Explorer

US Forest Service and Southern Research Station

Tsali Campground

Camping in the Tsali Recreation Area is a great way to enjoy its 4 network, 42-mile trail system. Tsali’s campground offers more than 40 sites, on a first-come, first-served basis, for tent, RV and trailer camping. There are accessible showers, restrooms and campsites available in the lower loop. A separate camping fee is charged. Showers and flush toilets are open April 15 through October. There are no water or electric hookup sites available for RVs.

For reservations, call the Cheoah Ranger District at 828-479-6431.

The Tsali campground lies along Fontana Lake. The nearby boat ramp provides lake access and is especially popular with anglers. Lake fishing is permitted year-round at Fontana Lake, offering some of the best fishing for walleye in the state. Anglers can also catch bass, crappie and catfish.

Hunters also stay at the campground. The Tsali area is known for its deer, grouse, small game and turkey. Hunting seasons begin in September and end in February. Turkey season opens the second Saturday in April and runs for 4 weeks. Hunting is prohibited in developed recreation areas.

From Asheville, NC: Take I-40 west to exit 27 onto U.S.19/74. Stay on U.S. 74 west to NC 28 west. Turn right and go 5 miles, look for sign on right.

From Knoxville, TN: Take U.S. 129 south through Maryville. Stay on U.S. 129 to Deals Gap. Take left onto NC 28 east. Sign is 25 miles on left.

From Bryson City, NC: Take U.S. 19 south for 9 miles to NC 28 west. Turn right on NC 28. Go 5 miles and look for sign on right.