Click the links below to view information about activities for this park.
|Education and Events|
Camping: Family camping: The lower slopes of Pilot Mountain house the family camping area where 49 campsites for tents and trailers are scattered among oaks and hickories. Each site has a tent pad, table and grill. Drinking water is available throughout the campground, and two modern washhouses with hot showers are located nearby. Hookups are not provided. Firewood may be obtained for sale from local vendors, gathering wood in the park is not allowed. The maximum number of people who can occupy a site is six. Sites are open March 15 through November 30.
Youth tent camping: On the north side of the Yadkin River, a camping area for youth groups includes tables, a fire circle and waterless toilets. Campers must carry in drinking water and firewood. This area is reserved for large organized groups. Reservations must be made in advance. To access the group campsites, you must drive through three shallow stream crossings. There are no bridges. During periods of heavy rain these campsites may be unavailable due to flooding.
Canoe camping: 2 canoe campsites on the south bank of the river are available by permit. No water or toilet facilities are provided. You must bring your own water and pack out all trash and waste. No camping is allowed on the Yadkin River Islands or anywhere within the River Section except in designated areas by permit. This area is reserved for canoeists traveling through the park on the Yadkin River Canoe Trail. Reservations must be made in advance.
Canoeing: Canoe the Yadkin River through the park on a segment of the Yadkin River Canoe Trail. The 165-mile trail follows the course of the river, passing through five reservoirs to the confluence of the Yadkin and Uwharrie rivers.
There are 38 canoe access sites along the trail. Shoals Access Site is a half mile upstream from the Yadkin Islands. Parts of the river are also suitable for rafting at times. Contact the park office for more information. Canoe rentals not available.
The two-mile portion of the Yadkin River that flows through the park is one of the most scenic stretches along the river's course. Enormous river birches overhang the water and sycamores dot the river banks. Here, the river is broad and shallow with many ripples. Two small islands, 45 and 15 acres in size, lie in the river. The islands may be reached by wading on foot, by horseback or by canoe.
The river flows past Bean Shoals Canal Wall, part of an ambitious project undertaken between 1820 and 1825 to build a three-mile canal around Bean Shoals. The project was abandoned before completion. View these historic walls along Canal Trail.
Cycling: The main park road is popular for hill climbing by bicycle. This should only be attempted by experienced cyclists wearing proper safety equipment. The road averages a 10% grade for 2.5 miles and has sections of 16% grades. It is recommended that cyclists plan their ride for the early morning hours when there is less vehicle traffic. Use caution on the descent and be advised that bicycles are subject to the same regulations pertaining to motor vehicles including exceeding safe speed and improper passing. There are no mountain bike trails in the park.
Education and Events: Rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about Pilot Mountain State Park. Click here to search our database of park events.
To arrange a special exploration of Pilot Mountain State Park for your group or class, contact the park office.
Educational materials about Pilot Mountain State Park have been developed for grades 9-12 and are correlated to North Carolina's competency-based curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and English/language arts. The Pilot Mountain program introduces students to the "mountains away from the mountains" and the geologic processes that formed them. Accompanying the program is a teacher's booklet and workshop, free of charge to educators. To learn more about environmental education or to search our database of upcoming workshops, click here.
Fishing: Cast your line from the river banks and reel in dinner. Sunfish, crappie and catfish are waiting to be caught! Anglers need a state fishing license and must obey the regulations of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.
Picnicking: Three picnic areas at Pilot Mountain offer a choice of shady dining spots. The picnic area in the Pilot Mountain section is located near the summit parking lot. Picnic tables and grills are surrounded by a pine and hardwood forest. Drinking water and restrooms are located nearby.
Two picnic grounds in the Yadkin River section of the park are approximately a half mile from the shore of the river. Picnic sites on the north shore of the river are located in an open grassy area along Horne Creek. Tables, grills, drinking water and waterless toilets are provided. A similar facility is located on the south shore of the river.
The covered picnic shelter in the Pilot Mountain section is perfect for group outings. The shelter will accommodate up to 35 people. A nearby grill makes cooking simple. To be sure that the shelter is available, reservations are suggested. Use of the picnic shelter is free of charge unless reservations are requested.
Rock Climbing: Rock climbing and rappelling are favorite activities at Pilot Mountain where rocky cliffs offer a challenge to experienced climbers. Climbing is permitted only in designated areas; climbing and rappelling are not permitted on the Big Pinnacle. Contact the park office for further information.
All climbers must register with the park by completing a climbing and rappelling registration and activity permit which is available at the park office. There is no fee for this permit. Prior to activity, a copy of the permit must be deposited in a registration box or given to a park ranger. An additional copy is provided for participants and must be held in their possession while engaged in climbing or rappelling.
Participants are responsible for their own personal safety, including securing proper training and equipment, and adhering to safe practices. Basic rock climbing safety equipment and techniques must be used at all time.
Climbing route closures: "Unnamed/P.Break" climbing route in the amphitheater has been permanently closed due to visitor use conflicts. The "Big Gully" is closed to all use (CLIMBING, HIKING, RAPPELLING, ETC.) for natural resource protection. This closure does not affect adjacent routes.
Climbers and Hikers are reminded that this area can become congested. Do not block the Ledge Springs trail with your gear, rope, dogs, or group. Pets must be attended (not tied off on a tree and left alone) and leashed while in the climbing area.
The following state park climbing regulations apply at all times:
Get a Climbing Guide from the Carolina Climbers Coalition Web site by visiting the links page.
Trails: Journey on foot, on horseback or in a canoe. No matter what your mode of travel, Pilot Mountain has miles of trails to explore. Little Pinnacle Overlook offers hikers a close-up view of Big Pinnacle and distant views of the valley below. Equestrians and hikers alike will relish the trails through the six-mile woodland corridor that connects the two sections of the park. Cliffs and crevices, ravens, and rhododendron are only a small part of the scenery to be discovered. For more information about the trails, see the park map. All visitors with horses must be able to provide proof of a negative equine infectious anemia (Coggins) test while visiting North Carolina State Parks. Horse rentals not available.
Pilot Mountain State Park Horse Trails Closure Policy