- Protected Areas
- Support CMLC
- Get Involved
- Landowner Resources
- News & Events
Buffalo Creek Park @ Weed Patch Mountain
Located just north of Lake Lure, more than 1,500 acres of 3,418 ft. Weed Patch Mountain were saved from development when CMLC acquired the tract in 2009. The town of Lake Lure has since purchased 200 acres for the creation of Buffalo Creek Park and a network of hiking and mountain biking trails.
The new Buffalo Creek Park has just opened the first segment of trails that will challenge your fitness and offer great views and varied terrain. This trail is the first loop at Buffalo Creek Park and provides a strong shot of climbing without harsh technical difficulty. It’s smooth and flowing and popular with hikers and trail runners.
It will soon be extended by 7-10 miles of trail through rugged back country, ascending another 2,000 feet to reach ridge lines and scenic viewpoints. The trail will connect with Chimney Rock State Park on the north side of Rumbling Bald Mountain, itself a popular destination for climbers and boulders. A bike-accessible cirque of the entire northern valley is planned, along with an extended through-hiking experience that circumnavigates Lake Lure in a 30-40 mile trail that summits several surrounding peaks.
Here's What you Need to Know:
The public trail head has room for 5-6 vehicles and is an interim facility. Work is underway to build a large parking area on an adjacent acre of land. Overflow parking is OK along Buffalo Creek Road.
There are two trail heads: the northern, public parking area on Buffalo Creek Road and a southern parking area inside the Rumbling Bald Resort, which serves their residents and guests. These are connected by a 1/3 mile flat pathway that follows Buffalo Creek. Midway between is a bridge and the start of the trail.
After a short distance, the trail crosses a small footbridge and reaches a fork that starts and finishes the loop. From here, riders will travel in the opposite direction of those on foot. A sign indicates the directions which reverse daily.
In either direction, the trail has three sections: The Head, the Heart and the Tail (HHT). After a brief warmup, a stout climb gets you 500 feet up the mountain, but intermediate descents mean you earn about 1,000 feet of total climbing. Then there's a smooth traverse in the middle section that takes you through a large boulder field that attracts climbers and the rare Green Salamander. You then finish with a fast, flowing descent on banked switchbacks. The trail has an average grade of nine percent with short sections of 15-20 percent.
More about the Park
Buffalo Creek Park is the gateway to 1,500 acres conserved by CMLC, that protects the northern headwaters of Lake Lure. When fully developed, it will offer over 10 miles of intermediate to advanced mountain biking trails and picnic facilities along Buffalo Creek.
It is the only mountain bike trail system within a 20-mile radius of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock State Park.
An additional 1 ½ miles of trail are scheduled to be completed late next spring for a total of five miles in this first phase.
In the next phase, the trail will head west for an additional 5-7 miles to connect with state park property at Eagle Rock near Shumont Mountain. This will be the first leg of the Lake Lure Summits Trail, which will eventually circumnavigate mountain peaks around Lake Lure and connect the area’s recreational lands, offering day hiking and through-hiking opportunities.
CHALLENGE: Hike or Bike Buffalo Creek Park
Primary Route: Hike the newly-opened loop at Buffalo Creek Park
Hiking Distance: 4.0 miles round-trip
Elevation Gain: 1000 feet
Trailhead: Click here to enter your address and receive turn-by-turn directions to the trailhead. GPS users may enter N35.4809, W-82.1864. in their units.
A gravel parking area on the west side of the road can fit 4 or 5 vehicles. Several signs mark the trailhead, including a kiosk with a map. The start of the trail is obvious.