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Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill

Trail Reviews for New Light as submitted by trianglemtb.com guests

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CategoryAverage Rating
Overall :   4.2 / 5.0   based on 42 votes
Technical :   4.2 / 5.0   based on 42 votes
Climbing :   3.9 / 5.0   based on 42 votes
Freeride :   2.8 / 5.0   based on 42 votes
Scenery/Wildlife :   4.1 / 5.0   based on 42 votes
Flow :   3.0 / 5.0   based on 36 votes



New Light trail has been reviewed 42 times by our trianglemtb.com guests.

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.
Reviewed by:Eddie
Reviewed on:08/11/2016
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Ok,so let's be honest! This trail and its entire existence is a mountain bikers feast! Climbs you may ask"plenty and challenging! Drops? I hope you have good forks! Speed?Those hydraulic brakes better say Shimano xt or xtr somewhere on them"you will need them". I have been riding since 1990 and tried many trails, I like hard stuff, challenging course that work my lungs to exhaustion and this trail will give you that and more. Enjoy it and pack an energy booster. Views are awesome!
Reviewed by:IvanNik
Reviewed on:02/21/2016
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It's hard (I don't know hot to handle big rocky climbs), but it's very funny.
There are a lot of very-very fast downhills.
It's my favorite in MTB area!
I recommend everyone to try it (you need to check all tracks, I spent 2 days)
Reviewed by:JonB
Reviewed on:07/02/2015
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I just moved to the area and have ridden this trail a couple of times so I figured I would post a review since it's been about a year since the last one. The directions on the page are still relevant as far as finding the trail. It's got a lot mellower climbs and descents and you can definitely pick up some speed going down. The first half of the trail is fun but not too challenging or difficult for someone of moderate skill. The second half definitely has more technical features with a couple of awesome gaps, a lot of smaller rock hills, and rock gardens. It goes along the edge of the lake and has some great views. It's definitely a workout so be prepared to commit to the trail because you can't really cut out early if you get tired. The trail is definitely worth checking out. It's probably the closest to a "natural" mountain biking trail so don't expect smooth machine made features.
Reviewed by:stinklepink
Reviewed on:06/10/2014
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One of my favorite trails within 50 miles of the Triangle. Unfortunately as Mr.Monkeywrench mentioned, there is some serious logging going on right now. The first 1.5 - 2 miles are gone. FUBAR, don't even bother.

My suggestion (as of 6.8.2014) is to head out on the old fire road you usually finish on, make the first right onto another fire road and head for the water. Look for that section of the trail with the burnout and short flowy downhill, to your left. You will see a white trail post where the trails starts. From there on out it is mostly the same.

Lets hope the logging stops soon.
Reviewed by:mr.monkeywrench
Reviewed on:06/01/2014
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Tried to ride the trails today; be advised considerable logging activity is going on which has disrupted the entry trail.

Advise go there with someone that knows the trails well otherwise you spend awhile on the fire trails.
Reviewed by:sethbotwick
Reviewed on:05/06/2014
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Great trail. Besides San Lee, it may be the best in the area. It has a good mix of everything. The San Lee trail Wizard needs to put his special brand of magic on this trail.
Reviewed by:time2ride
Reviewed on:10/06/2013
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I've only been there once when I first moved to the area a few months ago. Definable one of the harder trails in the local area. It isn't marked very well and I managed to get myself lost for a bit. Definitely has come long climbs compared to anything else I have ridden around here. Some very rocky sections as well. I would not recommend this place for beginners.
Reviewed by:scoobycarolan
Reviewed on:08/05/2013
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I'm going to go back and give it another shot but my first ride here wasn't fun. I tried to follow the fir road down to lower trails and ended up spending most of my ride climbing back up it. There were trees that were painted to look like trail markers that weren't trails and by the time I climbed all the way back out to the lot I had no gas left to ride anything else. That said, it was my first ride and I'm going to give it another shot.
Reviewed by:Gecam
Reviewed on:05/12/2013
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Rode it for the first time today. Considering myself technically intermediate + and physically intermediate -, I found the trail quite challenging, especially for the technical aspect. Lot of rocks, roots and obstacles to get over. Funny while going downhill, sometimes very difficult while going uphill. All the trails together are making quite a long ride, and some of the uphill sections are difficult but never very long. Finally, the marking is not very good ; there is very few intersections, so you won't get lost, but it's very hard to know where you are "on the map", which can be annoying to manage your effort. Overall, I'm still preferring Beaver Dam, even if I would come again to ride something different.
Reviewed by:Phil_1987
Reviewed on:02/06/2013
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Definitely one of my favorite spots to ride. I haven't ridden this place yet where I haven't smacked into a tree or dinged my bike. Walked away with some nice battle scars from this place on my self and my bike. Great climbing and downhill spots, and of course, The Gauntlet!
Reviewed by:chombers
Reviewed on:01/21/2013
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This place is absolutely beautiful. I have only ridden here in the winter and cannot wait to see these trails in the spring/fall. There are some technical sections along with a few difficult climbs so bring your legs. It certainly is a shame that these trails are not open everyday all year round, but we are lucky to have the time that we do on these trails. This is a must ride for any serious mountain biker in the area. Do yourself a favor and make a day at New Light.
Reviewed by:Special Jack
Reviewed on:11/10/2012
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Fun trail with short climbs. Rock gardens for intermediate fun. Ride it fast to increase the fun.
Reviewed by:Krampus
Reviewed on:05/30/2012
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New light is pretty difficult for the Triangle. Many many rock gardens and rock piles are available on this trail. Some jumps are along the trails, but have rough landings/need to be ridden carefully. The scenery on this trail is pretty cool, and there is a lot of nature present. I would rate New Light as being for Intermediate/Advanced.
Reviewed by:RAR
Reviewed on:04/16/2012
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I've ridden Beaver Dam a million times and some how just never made it across to to New Light. This is a great trail, plenty of up and down, has some great rock features, it feels like you're way out in the middle of no-where and you go right down to the edge of the lake. For the triangle area there are some great climbs, too.

It could be better marked once you're out on the trail, I found a few signs at the parking area, but once out on the trail there wasn't much of anything.

I'd rate this up with Beaver Dam and San Lee trails as far as fun and diverse trail types.
Reviewed by:Izrock
Reviewed on:01/08/2012
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I hadn't ridden this trail in several years mainly because its a bit of a drive to get to for me. Rode it today and really enjoyed it! I especially like the rock gardens/piles. I don't remember them from the last time I rode. I am a cross country junkie on a FS. The FS makes this a really fun trail. Saw a few guys on hardtails. As long as you are in reasonably good shape and have average bike handling skills you hardtail riders will enjoy this trail as well. Great lake views and its only about 5-10 mins from Beaver Dam so if you want to get some miles in and not just repeat the same trail its real easy to do.
Reviewed by:B Man
Reviewed on:05/19/2011
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Good, as always, today. Not that I was upset or offended, but I came across a large pile of fresh horse poop early on, then later two guys, looked like noobs, with two dogs, off leash.
Didn't bother me, but I wondered who, if anyone, enforces anything @ N/L?
A large tree down blocks the Lake something (sp/name) loop; funky bypass in place. It would be easier to access by boat than on foot or bike.
Reviewed by:jscusmcvet
Reviewed on:11/14/2010
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This is the second time I have ridden at New Light. The first time, this past winter, I crashed hard and limped off the trail. Not the case this time. Had a fun ride with some great folks. The trail is very challenging, as mentioned below, it is as clost to Pisgah as I have found in the area. It is a very technical ride with a lot of short ups and downs and a few other longer climbs. A coiuple nice downhill stretches with some fun jumps and plenty of obstacles. Be ready for a tough ride.
Reviewed by:spd2002nc
Reviewed on:06/13/2010
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Ive been riding the triangle for years but for some reason I have not made it out here before.

This trail is by far the best in the triangle!
Reviewed by:jwest
Reviewed on:05/09/2010
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I don't know how others feel but I loved this location back before it started getting chopped up/cut off but that's how it goes. I liked before how it was longer but I just ride today and doodling along it's at least a little over an hour still, after backtracking once and stopping to check my map twice.

Now that I know the route, it will probably be a little more fun having to "think" less.

I also worry a lot about the car getting vandalized as it's happened apparently several times out there. At least now there are some houses in sight of the parking section that may deter the idiots.

I plan to go ride several locations in one day soon, Beaver Dam, Harris, Chapel Hill, etc as a way to prep for longer events ;)
Reviewed by:oldschoolride
Reviewed on:04/04/2010
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Reviewed by:slirty
Reviewed on:03/08/2010
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Reviewed by:jcw5002
Reviewed on:03/07/2010
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I just finished my first ride at New Light and I am quite impressed! I did the big loop CCW. We got lost a bit after coming out of the First Loop. We took Sig's loop the opposite way and missed The Gauntlet initially, but figured it out after a while. There are lots and lots of rocks & rock gardens which were really fun. The downhills are gnarly and there are a bunch of fun drops. I didn't think the trail was overly exhausting, but then again we did stop a lot. It's definitely the most technical trail i've ridden in the Raleigh area. Good stuff.
Reviewed by:David H
Reviewed on:10/20/2009
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I like these trails a lot. Overall, I like them because they are hard and technical and as close as we can get to some Pisgah areas. I come to NL because I am able to train for endurance, strength and skill. I think there are plenty of technical features to aspire towards. I.E. The Gauntlet, the section connecting The Gauntlet and WIWO. Lots of rock to challenge yourself in that section. Log skinny. Free riding...not as much built up features...you can jump the log bridge, lots of rock to jump and some table top jumps. (I don't have much exp. in this area). The scenery is great, lake views, wooded forest, creek crossing, great to ride in the fall, seen a lot of wildlife...turkey and deer so far. Flow? Judging from my own skills, I flow through these trails at about an intermediate level. I almost flowroll over the rock at the top of the switchbacks, I have yet to make the gauntlet. First Loop has some great downhill runs. I love the steep hill climbs and I flow up those as fast as I am able. The flow is good for me and my all mountain bike and will get better as I ride out there more.
Reviewed by:TANK
Reviewed on:10/11/2009
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This trail is a gut buster, you better bring the A game cause it will hurt you or your bike if you are not paying attention. This is not a flowy ride along and hum to yourself trail. This thing works you out and spits you up. Begginers should stay home. Some of the rocks are sick, I am to old to try them but I can appreciate the skill of others that do. I feel really good when I finish this one in one piece. I ride it maybe twice a year and always forget how hard it can be until the next time. Someone has been putting work in out there. Looks good. Thanks
Reviewed by:Forkliftdaddy
Reviewed on:09/28/2009
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Reviewed by:Hardtailr
Reviewed on:08/21/2009
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It's pretty much like all the previous reviews. I love my hardtail and haven't found an urban trail that I couldn't handle...until New Light. My hardtail managed it's way around, but my full suspension would have been much more fun. I even think that the full suspension would have climbed better. My hardtail wanted to spin out on the gravel climbs. The obstacles were great. The rock gardens are my favorite. My only issue was that fact that I got lost. I started with the First Loop, Route 66, Sig's Loop, The Gauntlet and then Burned Out. At the end of Burned Out I came across a couple of tracks and made the wrong turn and ended up going back through all the loops, backwards. I did notice that there were signs posted when the trail crossed over fire roads. Any ways, I can't wait to go back.
Reviewed by:JohnDistai
Reviewed on:08/16/2009
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I tried this trail based on the reviews and the desire to try something more difficult than Crabtree. I am not a novice biker, but this trail is not for beginners or casual mountain bikers. These trails have some flowing sections, but many sections are tight and twisty, with tons of roots and rocks. If you are not in great shape and don't have advanced skills, you can look forward to lots of hike-a-bike sections. If you are going to ride here be sure to bring along your cell phone, an extra tube, and your tools. And please, please follow basic trail etiquette and remember that downhill riders should yield to uphill riders.
Reviewed by:lostYankee
Reviewed on:06/01/2009
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Reviewed by:edoiron
Reviewed on:05/30/2009
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Reviewed by:jbravo
Reviewed on:05/27/2009
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Reviewed by:Like2ride
Reviewed on:05/25/2009
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OMO, New Light is the best riding in the Raleigh area. I have not found any better. Throughout the entire trail there are rock gardens, log crossings, snake backs, roots, good up and down climbs…fantastic. If New Light is not open, then Beaver Dam is a 10 minute drive. This is good news since BD is the second best that I have ridden in this area.
Reviewed by:jkeatts21
Reviewed on:05/22/2009
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I've only been riding for a few weeks ( years of BMX and other riding ) but these trails were intense. i had a blast between the rock gardens and random down hills but the switchbacks and hill climbs...all im gonna say is it'll help if your half billy goat. Ive been to legends and crabtree and falls...this one by far is the most technical. I wouldn't suggest doing it alone if your a beginner. actually i wouldn't suggest a beginner to do it at all..it was the first time i clipped in with my pedals and thank God i did. over all tough but great ride..you really feel like you've accomplished allot when you finish it.
Reviewed by:terrible1one3
Reviewed on:05/21/2009
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This is my honest opinion, not meant to piss anyone off.

I am thoroughly disappointed with these trails. I did an 8 mile loop there today and enjoyed 1.5-2 miles of it and the rest was pretty bad.

I have been riding mountain bikes for over a year and on bicycles for about 15 years and I have NEVER been pissed off or upset about riding through 2 broken wrists, a missing tooth, 30+ stitches in my face... but today about 6 miles in I literally lost it.

I was so upset with these trails and the fact that most of the time they were dangerous and not rideable. Jagged spaced out rocky sections that professional trials riders would have tons of trouble with, stumps from small trees that are right on the trail and hidden by the overgrown weeds and vine.

General bad upkeep, minus the lack of ANY type of ability to get speed. I walked the bike the last 1.5 miles after going over the bars on one slightly downhill rocky section and catching my forearm on a sharp rock.

I fell about 3 times and tipped over twice, just from twigs and rocks scattered throughout the middle of the trail. A lot of the "rock bridges" are completely loose and dangerous. I just really regretted going to these trails today... first time in 50-100 trips to the trails I actually regretted going and wished I were somewhere else even if it was somewhere not on my bike.

I will never go back to this trail system again... I guess I should have listened more to trianglemtb's review.
Reviewed by:da newb
Reviewed on:05/19/2009
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Reviewed by:vulcangreen
Reviewed on:04/27/2009
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The worst thing about this trail system is that it is only open on Sundays from September 1st to May 14th. Between May 15th and August 31st, you can ride it every day of the week! What can one really say about New Light? There are lots of adjectives to describe it but easy is not one that I have ever heard. There are some really hard sections in New Light. Long rooty, rocky climbs, log crossings, log rides, rock gardens, tight twists and turns are all in abundance. The great thing is that unlike Beaver Dam located a few miles away, there are ride outs. You can take one just a little at a time or bite into the whole thing. This is a place for mountain bikers. You won’t see guys out there on there cyclocross bikes and hybrids. This is the place that I make sure I have my bike pump, tubes, chain breaker, multi-tool, and cell phone.
New Light is also a beautiful place to ride. It is miles from any interstate or major highway. There are rarely more than a handful of cars in the parking area. In fact, there have been many summer evening when I have gone out by myself and been the only person out there with hundreds of acres all to myself. New Light sits right on Falls Lake and there is often a cool breeze coming off of the water. During the peak of summer, it is as green as it gets. There are moist fern filled gullies where the temperature drops almost seem like air conditioning.
Reviewed by:Filapoosis
Reviewed on:04/07/2009
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Reviewed by:Triebert
Reviewed on:03/21/2009
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I love this trail.
Reviewed by:Jack
Reviewed on:03/03/2009
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Reviewed by:MarkMTB
Reviewed on:03/01/2009
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Definitely a good workout, especially on a SS. The big "loop" has a very different feel when ridden CW vs. CCW - some sections of trail seem designed for the CCW direction. Lots of rocky terrain to tackle, though most of the rock "features" have bypasses. Lots of active work going on out there that is greatly appreciated!! Fireroads tend to stay much more wet & muddy than the singletrack after wet weather.
Reviewed by:rebjd1
Reviewed on:02/28/2009
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Reviewed by:trianglemtb
Reviewed on:01/24/2009
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New Light is a lot of fun for accomplished riders. People who are not proficient at bike handling or are a bit out of shape may be in over their heads. There are a few options for creative lines but not tons, so I won't give New Light a high Freeride rating. There's not a heck of a lot of animals to be seen, but there are sections along Falls Lake that are nice scenery wise.

If you like technical rocks and challenging climbing, New Light would be a good choice for you.

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