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Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill

New Light Trails

Current Trail Status
 StatusWhen UpdatedWho UpdatedMore InfoHelp keep this info accurate by clicking the red bicycle
  closed03/30 5:00 amadmin

Average ratings submitted by users                     Write a review   User submitted reviews
CategoryAverage Rating
Overall :   4.2 / 5.0   based on 51 votes
Technical :   4.2 / 5.0   based on 51 votes
Climbing :   4.0 / 5.0   based on 51 votes
Freeride :   3.0 / 5.0   based on 51 votes
Scenery/Wildlife :   4.2 / 5.0   based on 51 votes
Flow :   3.0 / 5.0   based on 45 votes

Description
Location: North Raleigh, near Falls Lake
Miles: ~10
Skill Level: All skill levels; singletrack is mostly intermediate, some advanced.
Trail Map
Directions
Rules of the Trail

This trail is a beautiful mix of tech and flow. The hilly terraine is littered with roots, rocks, logs, and dips. There are several rock gardens to hone your skills on. It follows the shore of Falls Lake and the other side of the loop flanks a couple of double tracks. They are bidirectional and ride nice either direction.

A big thank you to NRMBA for working with the State Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) to allow mountain bikers on this land. It's a shame these trails aren't open every day of the year, because they are miles and miles of the sweetest singletrack around--especially for intermediate and advanced riders. This trail was voted number one by TriangleMTB.com users in the fall of 2002. It's a real gem!

Even when there's lots of folks there, you can ride all day in these woods and hardly see another rider. But don't worry about getting lost, because NRMBA volunteers have done a great job of putting "parking lot this way" signs up at the end of every trail. Steep and rocky hill climbs, decent downhills, small and large gullies, tight turns, big log rolls and beautiful views of the forest and lake await you.

IMPORTANT RULES: According to the agreement with WRC, they will only be open on Sundays beginning September 1 each year through May 14. From May 15 through August 31, they are open everyday. Please respect these rules--the area will be closed to riders if anyone is seen riding on closed trails.

The WRC has one mission, which is to protect hunters and hunting rights. And they are immune from political pressure so if they decide to close down New Light, there is no recourse. Thanks for your cooperation.

Please leave your dog at home!! Dogs are not allowed.

Also, NRMBA does not condone night riding here.

Directions
Start at Crabtree Valley Mall. Get on NC 50 (Creedmoor Rd) and go North.
When you get to NC 98 turn right to go East on NC 98.
You will go about 1.6 miles to the first traffic light. Turn left at the light -- this is New Light Rd.
You will cross Falls Lake -- keep going and at about 3.35 mi (from the traffic light) you will see Old Weaver Trail on your left.
Turn left on Old Weaver Trail. Go 0.5 mile, and you will see a dirt road on your left with evidence of parking on the side of the road.
You can drive down this road for a few hundred feet and park or you can park on the side of road.

Driving Directions via Google

Rules of the Trail



Night rides are not allowed at this trail. You jeopardize the relationship with land managers and cyclists by riding at night here.





UPDATE: June 27, 2006
Left Loop and Right Loop closed

The Eastern Territory consisting of both Left Loop and Right Loop are permanently closed by order of the land management. Please respect the closure so as not to jeopardize access to New Light.

UPDATE: April 20, 2004
Burned Out trail closed

We have met with the Wildlife Resources Commission and whereas they are still allowing us to ride at New Light, they are concerned with the number of trails we have in the area and that we might be disrupting the wildlife. Therefore, they have asked us to shut down the Burned Out trail to provide an area for wildlife where we are not riding. So in about three weeks, we will be shutting down Burned Out…so enjoy it while you can. Also, please do not build any more trails at New Light. Wildlife is currently fine with the number of trails we will have but they do not want any more.

Finally, we will be organizing a trails day for New Light in the very near future. In general, the trails are in good shape but we do need a bit of maintenance work. Since TriangleMTB.com is the official web site for the North Raleigh Mountain Biking Association, please check here for details of the next trails day for New Light.

Thanks for your continued support

Sig Hutchinson
President
North Raleigh Mountain Biking Association




Review New Light trail

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New Light trail has been reviewed 51 times by our trianglemtb.com guests.

Reviewed by:EdF
Reviewed on:03/30/2020
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Tried this trail out yesterday for the first time.

The road / parking lot is a little tricky to find but if you watch closely you'll see it - the directions are spot on but the road looks a little like a driveway so I was hesitant to pull in until a turned around and confirmed. If you go slow you'll see cars parked nose in on the side of the road, and its very accessible with good parking.

The trails are a little tricky to find - the easiest way is to take the trail to the right of the main sign with the trail map - that will take you into the network. From there you can jump onto a few other trails including both short and long (think really long) loops.

I road the red connector which starts right next to the trail sign to easy street and made a bit of a backtrack / loop. If I did it again I would go to the end of the parking area (there is a gate) and Easy Street starts there - there is a small mound on the side of the road.

The trails are pretty challenging from my perspective - lots of smaller drops and some nice uphills - nothing a reasonably skilled MTB'r can't handle but it is a leg burner. Also, there are a few rocky creek crossings that are easily crossed, but also can be walked if needed.

There were a dozen or so cars in the parking lot and I only saw a handful of folks on the trail so riders get distributed out pretty well. I also saw a few hikers on the trail. I didn't ride any of the larger loops, but they look pretty long. There is a network of fire roads so there may be bailouts on the longer loops and the fire-roads are pretty easy double track. If you ride the entire outer loop of trails it looks like its about 8 miles - i'd like to try it but won't start at 4:30 PM.

I look forward to May when this trail is open more often and I can take a day to ride the full loop! Overall great trail and a great job by T-MTB is getting access and establishing the trails and bridges. Hope they publish some workdays - would love to volunteer to help.
Reviewed by:LRamsdell
Reviewed on:08/30/2019
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I can't believe it took me this long to ride New Light. My favorite trail in the Triangle by far! Great punchy climbs, super technical rocky areas and roots galore. I would not bring a newby rider here. If someone brought me to New Light when I first started riding big bikes I would have quit, ha.
Reviewed by:mr.monkeywrench
Reviewed on:04/01/2019
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This KING KONG trial of this area IMHO; While not super technical it is a raw tough trail like in the good ole days, there is more than enough short stiff climbs with its accompanying friend the switch backs and every type tree roll overs imaginable.
Reviewed by:stereoman4
Reviewed on:01/06/2019
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Ride CCW if you are new! While yes, some masochists ride backwards, with almost all of the fun features oriented the other way, I'd start out CCW, i.e. turn right at gate rather than going straight out of the parking lot. In general, it was scenic and challenging and certainly worth a visit. The light handed management (probably no excavators massaging the clay) means it is more vulnerable to fall line erosion but also fun to slide in the composting leaves. Lots of cool rock features.
Reviewed by:RogerDodger
Reviewed on:10/28/2018
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No detailed review given.
Reviewed by:matthew.bailey
Reviewed on:10/15/2018
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Well this was a really fun ride but brutally tough for a beginner level rider. I rode out on First Loop and then I took the Fire Road back. A few of the climbs had so many roots that I just had to get off and walk. I had a great time on the flatter sections of the trail and the downhills were a lot of fun. I got a lot of practice at small drops and climbing over roots and rocks. I ride a Trek Full Stache 8 with the 29 plus tires so honestly the rocks and roots on this trail did not have much impact except when climbing. If I was on a hardtail I would probably be pissing blood from all the bouncing. Again all this is from a beginner perspective so if you are a decent rider you won't have any issues. Really nice group of people out there on a Sunday. Definitely worth a visit.
Reviewed by:sljones
Reviewed on:07/07/2018
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Come prepared to climb as the going can get tough. I wouldn't say this is extremely technical stuff but it certainly ramps up on the climbs and there are a few sections that are just a slog. The trails aren't very well marked and if you go the wrong way on these they are impossible to climb even with a extra wide 50 tooth granny gear.

I wouldn't say they are black diamond difficult but I would agree with MTB project in saying they are blue black its not length that gets you its the climbs.

My only criticism is that it is so easy to get turned around out there and the four or five times I've been out there I've had to resort to GPS to find my way back.

You can't really get enough speed to get any flow and the trail is in some parts really tight forcing some slow downs but there are a couple sections like sigs loop which has a gold amount of flow with a beautiful view of the lake.
Speaking of Sigs loop wear loads of bug spray since this section is a little overgrown and I got bitten to bits by chiggers and mosquitoes.

There aren't any amenities like bathrooms or water fountains so bring plenty of gear, water, and stoke
Reviewed by:mdematties
Reviewed on:07/04/2018
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I consider myself an intermediate rider, and had a tough time on this trail. Lots of rock gardens, baby heads(large rocks), steep climbs/descents and technical areas that reminded me of tough rides out west.

The whole experience made me question my skills as a mtb rider. Having said all of that, I believe a lot of the fears were more mental then physical restraints, and recognizing that makes me want to give it another go.

3 tips for this trail:
Track your line, don't spin out, and trust your wheels!
Reviewed by:audon
Reviewed on:06/04/2018
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This trail is amazing just the way I like it ,nice climbs and fast decents and some really nice technicals spots....
Reviewed by:gctabor
Reviewed on:10/01/2016
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I really do like this trail, but here's what you should know:

It's not as technical as people say. Yes, there are some very technical sections, but the majority of it is not. Most of it is rooty, but not difficult to stay clean, especially with some momentum.

Climbing isn't really difficult. I frequent the trail on a singlespeed and while there are a lot of short climbs, they don't seem steep or difficult and I can do them with just one gear. Not like the climbs are rocky road for example.

There are a few nice hops and very small tabletops, and one gap jump that is an accident because there used to be a bridge that collapsed. Be careful because it has a small takeoff and no landing so you do need speed.

The trail is not very flowy in general. Maybe with a full suspension you can conserve some more momentum and overall make it flowier but it just doesn't have a flowy vibe. I'm on average about 3mph slower on this trail than most other trails in the area.

All this being said, if you're a beginner, you will probably hate this place the first few times you go, but if you keep at it you may end up really loving it. It is the most difficult ride in the area IMO.

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