MTB Project Logo

New Light Loop

 14 votes


7.4 Miles 11.9 Kilometers




568' 173 m


-570' -174 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (7°)

374' 114 m


263' 80 m



All Clear 13 days ago
Mostly Dry, Some Mud History

Getting forecast...

A loop of the trails at New Light, which are more technical than most in the Triangle.

Rob Baker


Only open Sundays from September 1 through May 15. Open everyday from May 15 to August 31.
A great loop to get out on some of the best trails at the New Light Trail System.
Features: eMTB allowed
Dogs: No Dogs

Need to Know

Please DON'T POACH it when it is closed.


The First Loop section starts to the right of the gate and can be muddy with roots as it is in the deep, shady woods with no wind. It's a pretty aerobic start to the ride. However, the rest of New Light dries out very fast because the rest is more gravel, sand, and rock combo and it never closes for rain. At the end of First Loop, you turn left on the fire road and then the Lake Downfall starts on the right.

The Lake Downfall section starts with a small climb to a cool little downhill with a small jump. Further down the trail is a rutted out downhill where there used to be a bridge, but it has fallen down and a gap jump built in front of it. However, there is a ride-around on the left. There's also a log pile type obstacle after that and the trail skirts the lake.

After crossing another fire road, you'll be on Sig's Loop, which is similar to Lake Downfall but with more vertical ascents and descents including the switchbacks with a downhill after some jumps. Further down the trail is a log to try and ride left to right, or drop off of or hit the jump on the left of the stump. There are also several rock piles to ride over.

After that is The Gaunlet (what the trail is known for), a tough, rocky climb and a rocky descent.

Just before the The Gaunlet rock climb and after you'll see another trail on the right called Way In Way Out. It's often thick with bushes in the summer because it is a very open forest there, but it's a nice loop that adds more miles and has some fun sections to it.

After finishing this, you'll hit another fire road, turn left and the Easy Street is on the right. This takes you back to the parking lot and there is a sign there.

For the most part, New Light is all one big loop with the exception of the extra Way In Way Out loop off The Gaunlet. In general, there are plenty of obstacles and rocks and some good downhill sections. It is considered the most difficult trail in the triangle.


You & this Featured Ride

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Get On-Trail Navigation

Send to Phone
Your Check-Ins


May 18, 2018
Jesse Patton
May 15, 2018
Don Childrey
Jan 21, 2018
JuanCarlos JCV
7.7mi — 1h 35m
Nov 19, 2017
JuanCarlos JCV
Very Nice, technical a lot roots and Rocks!!! Crazy climbs and couple nice downhills 8.1mi
Nov 19, 2017
Matthew Huckfeldt
Oct 29, 2017
Charlie Charping
Monsoon rains 7.4mi
Sep 17, 2017
Gideon Bezuidenhout
Perfect balance of tech and flow with some lung busting climbs 8.5mi
Jun 25, 2017
Tait Chandler
An awesome, grueling ride. Great scenery with Falls Lake below you most of the way. 7.8mi — 1h 45m

Stewarded By

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 14 votes


  4.2 from 14 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star


344 Views Last Month
3,359 Since Jun 27, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Jim Russo
the Triangle
Jim Russo   the Triangle
Great trail-- it was really hot approaching 100 degrees-- I should have known better especially after I lost 1/3 my water in the parking lot pre-ride. I ended up cutting it short. I'll second Adam's "rugged and punchy", but I did find my way easy enough. At least once I had to stop and look around for the trail. The logging road made a good bailout when I ran out of water. I'll be back. Jul 20, 2017
Nothing particularly noteworthy or enjoyable about this trail, unless you really like tree roots. I, for one, hope to never see another tree root in my life on two wheels after riding this trail. If you're on a hardtail, may God have mercy on your soul. Mar 18, 2018
Rad trails. Rode there yesterday for the first time and it was wet muddy slick and perfect. They're not marked well once you're on them, except for a trail sign on the first part and same random tape tied around trees here and there. No big deal though because essentially it's one big loop and you'll end up back at the parking lot eventually. Trails make good use of the terrain around Falls Lake. Don't expect perfect groomed singletrack. Lots of little stream crossings and fallen trees to ride over on the first half. There are a couple tiny tabletops and small gap jumps. The second half is super rocky. Good stuff. Only thing missing are bigger and better jumps. Looking forward to riding it when it's dry. Apr 9, 2018

MTB Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Mountain Bike

MTB Project is supported by

Support Your Local IMBA Chapter