Pilot Mountain State Park »  History
The Mountain is located at exit 131 on US Highway 52/I-74. Do not use GPS to reach the mountain. Google Maps is directing visitors to our river section 20 miles away.
Fall is in the air and lengthy waits for parking have returned. Once the mountain reaches capacity then one car will be let in as one leaves. No exceptions. If you are coming to hike and want to avoid the crowds please use these coordinates to reach our satellite parking areas:
Avoid the crowds! Pilot Mountain State Park Alternate Parking Areas for Hiking:
To reach trails at the Mountain:
Parking for the Mountain trail, Grassy Ridge Trail, and the Northern End of the Corridor Trail:
To reach trails at the River Section: Surry County
Parking for the Southern End of the Corridor Trail, and the Yadkin Islands Trail:
PILOT MOUNTAIN STATE PARK WEATHER FORECAST: http://tinyurl.com/d4qve9pEquestrians
- To preserve park bridle trails for your continued use and enjoyment, all trails are closed to horses after rain. Riding on wet trails creates hazardous areas and erodes the trail. Riding trails when wet will cause their closure for maintenance and their closure to bridle use. If it has rained, wait to ride another day. DUE TO LEGAL AGREEMENT THE RAILROAD CROSSING AT THE RIVER IS CLOSED TO HORSES. DO NOT RIDE ALONG OR ACROSS THE RAILROAD.
Updated: 2014-09-20 10:36:49
Organized and Commercial Group Climbing Permit Update
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In order to better manage organized group and commercial climbing, reduce conflicts between climbers, and reduce impacts on natural resources, climbing groups are now required to register ahead of their visit via special activity permit. The special activity form is available on this website under forms and permits. Effective May 1 2015, group sizes will be limited to 14 persons maximum, a number of groups allowed per weekend will be established, and groups will be required to provide proof of liability insurance and provide a copy of their group leader training certification. There will be a fee of 35.00 per group, per permit.
Sign up for Prescribed Fire Notification List-serve
If you would like to receive electronic notification of prescribed burns, the park would like to ask you for an email address that you can be reached at. Your email will not be shared with anyone, and you will not be included on “reply-alls” or routine emails from the park. This list-serve would only be used for notification of prescribed fires or emergencies. Prior to a planned prescribed burn you will receive an email and a location of the burn within the state park. If at anytime you would like to be removed from this email list you would have the option to have your contact information deleted by calling or emailing the park.When prescribed burns are conducted, areas of the park being burned are closed to the public during the burn, and afterwards until conditions are deemed safe for use.
Please send an email to email@example.com if you would like to be added to this listserve.
Updated: 2014-09-20 10:35:10
Like the rocky escarpments in nearby Hanging Rock State Park, Pilot Mountain is a remnant of the ancient
Sauratown Mountains. A quartzite monadnock, this rugged mountain rock has survived for millions of years
while the elements have eroded surrounding peaks to a rolling plain.
Pilot Mountain is capped by two prominent pinnacles. Big Pinnacle, with walls of bare rock and a rounded
top covered by vegetation, rises 1,400 feet above the valley floor, the knob jutting skyward more than 200
feet from its base. Big Pinnacle is connected to Little Pinnacle by a narrow saddle. Visitors have easy
access to the top of Little Pinnacle where the view encompasses hundreds of square miles of the Piedmont
and the nearby mountains of North Carolina and Virginia.
To the native Saura Indians, the earliest known inhabitants of the region, Pilot Mountain was known as
Jomeokee, the "Great Guide" or "Pilot." It guided both Native Americans and early European hunters along a
north-south path through the area. The Sauras were driven southward by the Cherokees, who subsequently
occupied the area. Further settlement in the area was led by Moravians, but the population remained sparse
during colonial times due to frontier turbulence created by an alliance between the Cherokees and the
The mountain was mapped in 1751 by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson, father of President Thomas Jefferson.
Pilot Mountain became North Carolina's 14th state park in 1968, due in large part to the efforts of a group
of local citizens. Prior to that time, the mountain was a commercial tourist attraction. The Pilot Mountain
Preservation and Park Committee proposed the establishment of Pilot Mountain as a state park in order to
protect it and the surrounding area from further commercial development. Working with the
conservation-minded owner of the property, Mrs. J.W. Beasley, the group secured options on the land and
raised matching funds that made it possible to purchase the land with federal grants. In further support of
the park, the committee acquired more than 1,000 acres of land along the Yadkin River that was added to the
park in 1970. Additional acreage was later acquired, bringing the park to its present size of 3,703 acres.
Today, Pilot Mountain stands as a monument to the desire and concern of a citizenry dedicated to preserving
the natural resources of North Carolina.
Learn about rural life in the past by visiting Horne Creek Farm. This state historic site is adjacent to
the Yadkin River section of the park. Currently being restored to appear as it did in 1900, the farm is an
educational center dedicated to preserving North Carolina's rural heritage. Visitors may experience North
Carolina's agricultural past by participating in hands-on programs held on Saturdays and Sundays, April
through October. Special tours and educational programs may be arranged throughout the year by calling