As part of a erosion control effort and to reduce visitor use conflicts, the upper part of the Grindstone Trail below the summit parking lot has been rerouted, effective immediately.
Hikers- The new Grindstone trail starts next to the picnic area, then leads downhill 1 mile to the Ledge Springs Trail. The blazes remain blue and the total trail distance is still 3 miles one way ending at the park office. It remains a better hike to start the Grindstone Trail from the park office. The Ledge Springs trail is now only the lower trail below the cliff line, it does not parallel the Grindstone at any point.
Climbers- The approach to the routes has changed. Temporary signage is in place while permanent signage has been ordered.
For top rope access to Chickenbone/Parking lot area: The access remains the same (the climber gate just below the registration kiosk). To access the bottom of the cliff, follow the Jomeokee trail (behind bathroom) to its first right hand turn to walk to the bottom of Chickenbone.
For all other routes and areas: Use the new grindstone trail adjacent to the new picnic area. Follow the blue blazed Grindstone Trail downhill to the new shortcut trail to 3 Bears Gully. Access all routes uphill of 3 Bears - such as the Big Arete, Amphitheatre, Black Rain etc. by walking uphill from the midway point of 3 Bears Gully.
A map of the new trail route is linked here: https://files.nc.gov/ncparks/maps-and-brochures/pilot-mountain-state-park-climbing-accesses-map.pdf
Also linked from the front page of our website as the climbing map