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Weed Patch Mountain Hike - Kens Rock
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 almost 200 acres and plans to establish a town park with mountain biking and hiking trails. Until public access at Weed Patch is possible, make a short hike to Kens Rock, a scenic cliff on the east side of Lake Lure for a breathtaking view of Weed Patch Mountain and the surrounding peaks.
Hike to Kens Rock; enjoy the view of Weed Patch Mountain
Primary Route: Old roadbed at the end of Tatanka Way
Hiking Distance: 0.5 miles round-trip
Elevation Gain: 100 feet, all on the return hike
Trailhead: Click here to enter your address and receive turn-by-turn directions to the access for the trailhead. GPS users may enter N35.4573, W-82.1812 in their units. These directions will lead you to the entrance of the Tatanka development off of Buffalo Creek Road, most easily recognized by its metal buffalo statue. Turn into the development and onto Matho Trace. Drive Matho Trace 1.6 miles uphill until it ends at an intersection with Tatanka Way. Turn right on Tatanka Way and drive uphill until it terminates in 0.3 mi. at a dead-end. Park here on the side of the road. The trail is a dirt roadbed that continues into the forest where the pavement ends.
Hiking Directions: Locate the dirt roadbed at the end of Tatanka Way. Follow it into the woods; the road makes an immediately left turn and begins a sharp descent. The roadbed is both steep and rutted; use care on this section and consider using hiking poles or a walking stick. After slightly more than 0.1 mi., the road reaches a T-intersection with another dirt road. Turn right and hike this road--one that is much more level than the first--another 200 yards until reaching Kens Rock on the left at 0.25 mi. While Kens Rock (N35.4788, W-82.1795) is usually obvious, vegetation during the summer sometimes hides it from the dirt road and some hikers unknowingly walk by it. Keep a keen eye out for well-defined side trails that lead through the brush and slightly downhill to reach Kens Rock only a few yards below.
Enjoy the magnificent view from the cliff at Kens Rock; always remain a safe distance from its edge. Weed Patch Mountain, while not particularly prominent, is the rounded peak directly ahead in the background of your view. If you have difficulty picking it out, locate the small mountain in the foreground that has a small rock outcropping/cliff relatively close to its top. This mountain and the land extending back to its summit, as well as much of their slopes to the left, are within the 1,500 acre Weed Patch tract that was preserved in 2009 when it was purchased by CMLC. While enjoying the scenery, take a moment to imagine the impact that development would have had on this view if Weed Patch had not been saved by Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy.
The body of water below is Bald Mountain Lake, and further to the left, the northern arm of Lake Lure. The prominent peak in the distance above the lake is Shumont Mountain. The long, dominant ridgeline with large exposed rock faces descending on its left is Rumbling Bald Mountain. The protruberance with its own rock face on the descending ridgeline to the right of Shumont is Eagle Rock. All of these mountains are conserved by The Nature Conservancy. One day, each Kens Rock, Eagle Rock, Weed Patch, Shumont, and Rumbling Bald Mountains will be linked by the Summits Trail and future Hickory Nut Gorge trail system. On exceptionally clear days, Mt. Mitchell and the Black Mountains are visible to the north, at the extreme right hand view from Kens Rock.
Return to the trailhead the way that you came.
Because it is pivate property, access to hiking at Kens Rock is permitted by the landowner only to CMLC members. You must be a CMLC member to access Kens Rock.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is Kens Rock part of the Hiking Challenge when it is not conserved by CMLC?
A: While Weed Patch Mountain will ultimately host an extensive hiking and mountain biking trail system, most of Weed Patch Mountain is not yet open to the public. No hiking/biking trails or trailheads are yet in existence on the tract. One day, Weed Patch Mountain and its trails will be included within the Hiking Challenge, but until access is possible and a trail system is in place, Kens Rock provides an accessible and breathtaking viewpoint to observe Weed Patch and the entirety of its 1,500 pristine and preserved acres.
Q: Can I hike on Weed Patch Mountain for the Hiking Challenge instead of Kens Rock?
A: No; while the 200 acres of Weed Patch Mountain purchased by the Town of Lake Lure are open to the public, no trail system or trailhead is yet in place. The remaining ~1,300 acres of Weed Patch Mountain owned by CMLC are not yet open to the public. Trail development on both Weed Patch Mountain tracts is currently under development and may open within the next several years.
Q: When will I be able to go hike/bike at Weed Patch Mountain?
A: CMLC and the Town of Lake Lure are working diligently to implement ahiking and mountain biking trail system on the Weed Patch Mountain tract. This process requires extensive levels of planning, fundraising, and construction. Currently, both entities have begun trail feasibility studies at Weed Patch. The construction of the trail system and its opening to the public are still several years away. If you are interested in the trail system project at Weed Patch, consider joining or donating to CMLC to support our continuous efforts at Weed Patch Mountain!