Flint Ridge Trail may be situated just 5 miles down the road from the iconic Tsali Trails, but don't let its proximity fool you into thinking it's merely a sideshow. This trail packs a punch right from the start with nine challenging switchbacks that wind you up a steep ridge face, gaining a lung-busting 800 feet within the first mile.
Once you conquer the climb, which should take an experienced rider about 28 minutes, your reward is both visual and physical. The summit of the ridge offers panoramic views of the Nantahala River, a sight that can turn any panting cyclist into a nature-loving poet. What follows is a fast and flowy single-track descent. A cautionary note: the downhill switchbacks can be quite hair-raising, so keep your wits about you.
In contrast to the often-crowded Tsali, Flint Ridge offers a solitary experience, even at peak biking season. Riders who frequent this trail appreciate the quietude, especially when Tsali feels more like a cycling highway than a nature trail.
The Flint Ridge Trail community isn't just a bunch of random riders; it's a collective vision. Enthusiastic volunteers have been spotted sharing plans to transform this hidden gem into a full-service trail center. From beginners to advanced riders, everyone will find their niche here in the coming years.
Flint Ridge Trail is more than just an alternative to Tsali; it's a superb experience in its own right, challenging riders and rewarding them in equal measure. And with a dedicated community behind it, the trail can only get better. It's a must-ride for anyone in the Bryson City area.