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How to Mountain Bike Weed Patch Mountain Trail in NC

Weed Patch Mountain Trail is one of my favorite rides in North Carolina! Learn everything you need to know including how to shuttle it and more

Mountain biker riding bike out onto rock slab overlook on Weed Path Mountain trail in North Carolina

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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!

Weed Patch Trail at a Glance

These stats are for shuttling Weed Patch Trail. Doing it as an out-and-back would be… monumental.

  • Location: Lake Lure, NC
  • Trail network: Buffalo Creek Park
  • Miles: 9.4 miles*
  • Rideable time: 100%
  • Fitness level: Moderate
  • Skill level: Moderate
  • e-bikes? Yes
  • Ride style: Enduro
  • Elevation gain: 1,115 feet*
  • Elevation loss: 3,225 feet*
  • High point: 3,460 ft
  • Singletrack: 99.9%
  • Ride time: 2-3 hours
  • Ease of navigation: Easy**

*As measured by my Garmin Fēnix watch
**I always recommend having TrailForks or MTB Project downloaded to your phone

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

Mountain biking the Weed Patch trail is awesome, but there are a few things to know before hitting the trail:

  • e-bikes are allowed: Most trail networks in Western North Carolina don’t allow e-bikes, so Weed Patch Mountain Trail is a good option for those looking to ride their pedal assists.
  • Once you start, you’re committed: There are no bail points along the way.
  • There is some exposure: The side hill stretches and viewpoints have steep dropoffs. I don’t like heights and never felt unsafe, but if you really don’t like heights, this might not be the trail for you.
  • Watch out for hikers: The is a popular trail with hikers. Please stay in control and be alert on blind corners.
  • Download the shuttle directions beforehand: There is no cell service at the lower parking area, so download the directions to the top trailhead before you arrive. See below for more info about shuttling.
Photo out over mountain biker's socks and shoes on rocky cliff edge looking out onto Blue Ridge Mountain Landscape
Be sure to stop and enjoy the views – they’re epic!

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:

  • A 40-minute shuttle: The shuttle from the lower parking area to the top is about 40 minutes. Learn more about shuttle directions below.
  • Stunning viewpoints: There are several beautiful viewpoints along Weed Patch Trail. The first is Eagle Rock at the top – definitely take some time to enjoy the views!
  • A backcountry experience: Weed Patch Trail is pretty remote and provides a great backcountry experience. You may see other trail users (including hikers) and you may not. Be prepared with your mtb essentials.
  • Some climbing: Even though most people shuttle Weed Patch, there is still about 1,000 ft of climbing. Pack some snacks and bring at least 2 L of water.
  • Tight switchbacks: There are lots of tight switchbacks on Weed Patch – uphill and downhill. You may curse them, but they’ll help you with your cornering skills 🙂
Singletrack mountain bike trail through forest in Western North Carolina

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

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.

Read next: Best Mountain Biking Trails Near Asheville, North Carolina

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.

Weed Patch Mountain Trail shuttle driving directions
You can drive to the top parking area two ways – north or south. Both are about 40-45 minutes. I recommend the North route because it’s less windy and you won’t hit the Lake Lure/Chimney Rock traffic.

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.

Stone steps leading to small creek on trail in Western North Carolina


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!

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