My favorite kinds of rides involve: more downhill than uphill (or at least the route feels that way…), a backcountry setting, unique trail features, pretty views, and a good mix of flow and tech.
This mixed bag is exactly what Weed Patch Trail in Western North Carolina delivers.
Located above Lake Lure, Weed Patch is a self-shuttled ride (unless you’re a masochist and want to pedal up it) that starts at 3,460 ft and gently plunges, rolls, and switchbacks over 2,200 feet down the slopes of Weed Patch mountain.
Throughout the ride, there are epic views (including a stop at Eagle Rock!), fast and flowy stretches, a little bit of tech, some steep climbs (because there is always climbing), and stunning sections through beautiful, lush North Carolina forest.
This was one of my favorite rides in WNC and if you like adventure on two wheels, I think it will be one of yours, too. Read on to learn more about how to ride Weed Patch Trail, what to expect, and more!
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Watch Steve le Roux ride Weed Patch Mountain Trail
He also pedaled up… And yes, I know, I should do my own videos…
Important Things to Know
What to Expect
What makes Weed Patch Trail a great ride is that it throws a lot of things at you, in a good way! Here are some of the main things to expect from your day out there:
Weed Patch Trail Map
As you can see, Weed Patch is definitely best-ridden as a shuttle because it’s long and steep. See more about shuttles below or alternative ride options if you don’t have two cars.Weed Patch Mountain Trail
Weed Patch Trail Packing List
Below are a few of my favorite pieces of mountain biking gear and recommendations for your Weed Patch ride:
Navigating the route
Navigating Weed Patch is pretty straightforward since there are no turn-offs or intersections. From the parking area at the top, you’ll take a short double-track road up to the Eagle Rock Lookout. From there, the trail drops in on the right and you will follow it all the way down to the Buffalo Creek Loop.
Important: the Buffalo Creek Loop is directional based on the day of the week. Please follow the signs so you don’t get crash into a rider climbing up.
Getting to the Trailhead
The lower trailhead is located in Buffalo Creek Park just north of Lake Lure and about 50 minutes east of Asheville. The road out there is VERY WINDY. If you get carsick maybe take some meds…
Here are the Google directions for the parking area. There are a few picnic tables by the creek if you want to pack a post-ride lunch.
Shuttling to the top
Unless you want to do a 4,000+ foot climb, most people shuttle Weed Patch trail (or just do part of it, see below).
The shuttle drive is about 40 minutes and I highly recommend you download the directions beforehand. We didn’t and we had quite the adventure on steep dirt backroads trying to find our way to the top…
The roads are all paved (if you take the correct route), but it is pretty steep.
The parking area at the top is also quite small and can only fit about 8 cars. This is where people park to visit Eagle Rock, so if you can, I recommend riding Weed Patch on a weekday so you don’t shuttle all the way up there and risk not having a parking space. There is nowhere else to park if all the parking spots are taken.
Don’t have a shuttle?
If you don’t have two cars to shuttle, you can pedal up Weed Patch Mountain Trail as far as you’d like. If you pedal all the way up to Eagle Rock, your full ride will be about 4,000 ft of climbing and 18 miles.
If that doesn’t sound very fun (and to me, climbing up Weed Patch would not be very fun…), there is the 3-mile Buffalo Creek Park Loop at the bottom. This trail is a fast and flowy machine-built trail with huge berms.
The loop is directional based on the days of the week, so be sure to check the sign to see which way to ride it on the day that you’re visiting.
Best time to ride Weed Patch Mountain Trail
Weed Patch Mountain Trail can be ridden year-round depending on the weather. It can be super hot and humid in the summer months and cold and rainy in the winter.
I rode Weed Patch in early June and it was perfect, but I do think the temps were unusually cool for that time of year.
I’d say spring and early fall would be the best times to plan a ride on Weed Patch Mountain trail.
Looking for more mountain biking adventures in Western North Carolina? Check out these related blog posts:
Have you ridden Weed Patch Mountain Trail? Did you shuttle or pedal? What questions do you have? Leave a comment below!