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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 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

     

CLIMBERS AND GRINDSTONE HIKERS! READ ME!   

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 endsing 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. Temproary 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

 Last updated on: Thursday, December 5, 2019

***PHOTOGRAPHERS - AREA CLOSED*** Read...   

Due to disturbance caused by foot traffic from photography, photo shoots, and their clients; the grassy fields at the Summit Parking Area and around the Summit Area will be CLOSED to allow the area to regrow to prevent future erosion and protect rare, uncommon plant species. Please stay on marked paths and trails at the summit.

 Last updated on: Tuesday, November 26, 2019

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

Upcoming Events:

Saturday, December 14, 2019 - 10:00am
Sunday, December 15, 2019 - 10:00am
Saturday, December 28, 2019 - 9:00am