|   Rate it:

Level: Intermediate
Length: 2 mi (3.2 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +167/ -151 ft
Total: 28 riders

Mountain Biking Buffalo Creek Park: The Head, The Heart & The Tail (HHT)

****   Add a review
#101 of 544 mountain bike trails in North Carolina
#1,866 in the world

Lots of climbing and fast, flowing descents. There are two trailheads: the northern, public parking area on Buffalo Creek Road and a southern parking area inside the Rumbling Bald Resort. 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 9%, with short sections of 15%-20%. This loop is the first phase--another 7-10 miles of backcountry trail will be implemented in 2014-2015.

First added by cbraund on Apr 20, 2014. Last updated May 9, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
At the north end of Lake Lure, on Buffalo Creek Road just past Rumbling Bald Resort and Bald Mountain Lake.
I Rode It!   Add to another list

Buffalo Creek Park: The Head, The Heart & The Tail (HHT) Trail map

Add to or improve this map // Share this map on your website

Local Info

Club Sponsor


Local Bike Shop

Trail checkins

Jody Fletcher (on Oct 2, 2019)
What's this?

Upcoming Events

Add one

Trail conditions

Icy (on May 24, 2019)
login to update

Camping & Lodging

Coming soon!

Buffalo Creek Park: The Head, The Heart & The Tail (HHT) videos

Add a video
We don't have any videos of this trail yet. Add one here.

Mountain Bike Trails Near Lake Lure, North Carolina

Advanced | 10 mi

Rider questions

Q: do we need helmets?
A: Of course!

Add a review



  • joebaloba

    Big climb to start and fun ride down. Even in the Rockies I had never had that long swooping downhill so this was a little like my first mountain bike downhill, and I loved it. It rained all night and dawned at 35 degrees. I waited until 11 hoping for it to warm up, but it was still chilly. Nonetheless the trail was grainy and mostly mud free. A great ride for 60 year old me!

    Reply | Thank
  • Jody Fletcher

    The loop is always dry, even if it rains day before. Tough cardio workout, the extension is primarily single track and challenging. It's supposed to be 1 mile out and back, however, the extension past the 1 mile in is finished. Better pack a lunch and take lots of water.

    Reply | Thank
  • brianne1r

    Very fun trails, you get a lot of speed going down such a steep mountain. Kind of tough to get uphill because of how steep it is, and trails are pretty thin.

    Reply | Thank
  • clayhinson

    Whoever said this trail was made to ride clockwise is wrooooong. Definitely made to ride counterclockwise. Planned my trip to ride on one of the clockwise days, as I live 2 hrs away, and found out I should've waited another day. Still a fun ride with breathtaking views but with breathtaking climbs. If you want to see just how manly you are on a mountain bike, with nearly 1000 feet of climbing in just about 3.5 miles, by all means ride it clockwise.

    Reply | Thank
  • lydon904

    Fun trail! Down hill portion had some some fun berms. Half of the trail was closed though while I was there 12/23/16

    Reply | Thank
  • wmw752

    This is a really fun quick morning ride. Be prepared for some steep climbs though!

    I traveled clockwise. it looked like both directions get some good small jumps in. Great place to practice slide turns as well as there are huge berms on the switch backs.

    Reply | Thank
  • Michael Darpino

    Flowy and fast! You will climb for a couple miles on the blue trail but super flowing downhill with berms and opportunities to get air. More climbing and fun downhill on in and out red trail about 3/4's to the top of blue. About 1 to 1.5 hrs of riding depending on your pace. Modern flowy trail with future additions happening. Better have a map or super GPS for roads to and fro. My gps signal lost......Road closed.....lost driving......no one to ask for directions....etc....Still stoked by the ride!

    Reply | Thank
  • PoeKneeTale

    The trail was a lot of fun! Rode it on a sunday and seemed like it would be even better the opposite direction. lots of berms and switchbacks and if you go counter clockwise, lots of jumps. Definitely plan to come back when visiting family at Lake Lure.

    Reply | Thank
  • Peresite70

    Rode here today going clockwise and definitely have to say that this trail is a different animal! The first little over a mile or so is a gnarly climb! Really wish l would of had more than my 1x10 gearing , which is a 34T 36/11 cassette. Once the first climb was out of the way, this trail was nothing but a grin from ear to ear, with the really nice downs that had some really great flowy lines that were filled with jumps, switch backs and rollers! Great start guys, to a fun trail system!

    Reply | Thank
  • Peresite70

    If you're in the Lake Lure area, this is a fun spot to hit. Only got to ride it so far in the counter clockwise direction which had a bunch of climbing and a couple fun downs. This trail is definitely made to ride clockwise since it's more DH with high banked switch backs and rollers and jumps! Can't wait to try it that way! I'll post up after l do..

    Reply | Thank