by Russ Meade
The Buffalo Creek Park, located off Buffalo Creek Road (just north of Rumbling Bald Resort) is a 200-acre park that will include approximately seven miles of mountain bike and hiking 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, (taking approximately 45 minutes of driving time).
The trail system will include the first leg of the Summits Trail, which will eventually circumnavigate the mountain peaks around Lake Lure and connect the area’s recreational lands.
Town staff, along with the Lake Lure Parks & Recreation Board, are working with Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) and the State Park to extend the second leg of the Summits Trail from Buffalo Creek Park to Eagle Rock.
The second leg will include an additional five to six miles of trail across CMLC and State Park property.
The park offers the first opportunity for a mountain experience 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 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.