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Has anyone ridden the Weed Patch trail? My buddy and I will be staying at Lake Lure and want to get some riding in. I'm reading about the trail and don't think we will have the time or fitness to ride it up and then back down. I see there is a reserved parking area at the top of the trail. We're thinking we could have our wives drive us up to the top so we can ride the trail back down to the HHT loop. I see there is a gate accessed reserved parking area up there. It looks like a good place for a drop off but I don't want to reserve a spot to get gate access when we won't be parking a car there. Is it possible to get dropped off outside the gate and ride around it? And how's the difficulty of the trail going down? My buddy is newer to riding and I don't want to get him in over his head, especially in such a remote area.
 

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I wouldn't suggest that ride for a number of reasons. The shuttle ride is 45 minutes one way, it is definitely going to be brutal going up from the bottom, and it is designed as a hiking trail. I rode it once and that might be enough for me.

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Has anyone ridden the Weed Patch trail? My buddy and I will be staying at Lake Lure and want to get some riding in. I'm reading about the trail and don't think we will have the time or fitness to ride it up and then back down. I see there is a reserved parking area at the top of the trail. We're thinking we could have our wives drive us up to the top so we can ride the trail back down to the HHT loop. I see there is a gate accessed reserved parking area up there. It looks like a good place for a drop off but I don't want to reserve a spot to get gate access when we won't be parking a car there. Is it possible to get dropped off outside the gate and ride around it? And how's the difficulty of the trail going down? My buddy is newer to riding and I don't want to get him in over his head, especially in such a remote area.
Yeah, that would work. Don't make a reservation if you're not going to park there. Just have them drop you off at the top and ride down. Now, there are a few climbing sections on the trail in the downhill direction. This is the way most folks who cannot ride up it ride the trail. Be sure to stop and hike the spur trail at the top to see the rock arch and amazing stone work, and boulders for that matter. It's short but amazing.
 

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I rode it once and that might be enough for me.

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Same experience here. It was like a Mega-XC trail, and we shuttled to the top. If you're riding it as an out-and-back you better make sure your fitness is on point. As far as the downhill goes - the first part was awesome and I wish it was like that the whole way down. But on the descent you hit too many climbs and too many super awkward switchbacks. Rode it once and now will probably never give it a second thought, although it was a great experience and I appreciate all the hard work that went into it!
 

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I have ridden it a few times and I like it mostly for the views - I say it's worth the time to at least ride it once for that reason. Definitely ride down from the top. It's fine to have someone drop you outside the gate and ride from there.

The trail itself is not really technical at all except for a few little rock gardens and challenging switchbacks on a few of the intermediate climbs. As stated before, it's more of a hiking trail, but very nicely built and maintained. A newer rider should be fine on it. Even though its a net downhill of a couple thousand feet, there are a few climbs that will be a workout, so be prepared for that.

And allow time to enjoy the views and the side hike near the top! Also be sure to do the whole Buffalo Creek loop if you have any legs left - also a fun ride.
 
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