Shop Reservations Newsroom

GO TO PARK

History


1792 Pilot Knob Park Road
Pinnacle, NC 27043

336-325-2355
pilot.mountain@ncparks.gov

 

Map of North Carolina

GPS: 36.341276, -80.462930

 

  • December to February:
    8:00am to 6:00pm
     
  • March 1 to March 14:
    8:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • March 15 to April:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • May to September:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • October:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • November:
    7:00am to 6:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     
  • November to February:
    8:30am to 5:00pm
     
  • March to April:
    8:30am to 7:00pm
     
  • May to September:
    8:30am to 8:00pm
     
  • October:
    8:30am to 7:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     
  • March to April:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • May to September:
    7:00am to 10:00pm
     
  • October:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • November:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

*PLEASE NOTE: Gates are locked promptly at closing. There is no gate entry before or after hours, including campgrounds, except in the case of a medical or law enforcement emergency. No vehicles other than those registered to campers may be left in the park overnight.
 

  • 8:00am to 4:30pm – daily
     
  • Closed Christmas Day

     

CLOSURES   

Surry County has declared a state of emergency and requests that tourists do not visit at this time. To support this and the Governor's Executive Order, please note the status of the following areas at Pilot Mountain State park: 

THE MOUNTAIN IS CLOSED due to overcrowding of the summit area . The summit parking area, picnic area, and climbing area are closed. 

You may not park on the road shoulder, block gates, or impede traffic and walk into the park. Your vehicle will be subject to citation and or towing. Entering a state park when it is closed is second degree tresspassing. 

This is a temporary closure to limit the spread of COVID-19 through large crowds. Please be flexible and patient. A small inconvenience to your recreational plans now can help slow the spread of this disease and prevent emergency response agencies and local hospitals from being overwhelmed.

Campgrounds are closed. Park office and all restrooms are CLOSED. 

To reach the park staff, please call 336-325-2355 or email us at pilot.mountain@ncparks.gov.

 Last updated on: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

History highlights

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 British.

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 336-325-2298