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Trails


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

List of 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.

See the Equestrian Trails Closure Policy.

 


Bean Shoals Canal Trail
Location: River section – Bean Shoals access

Description:

A moderately sloped trail on the north shore of the Yadkin River that begins at the turnaround parking area. Turning right when you reach the river, this trail weaves a railroad trestle, as well as along the ruins of the unfinished Bean Shoals Canal. Note: The railroad track is active. Use extreme caution when crossing.

 


Surface: natural surface

Length:
0.50 miles
one way
Difficulty:
easy
Blaze:
red dots

Corridor Trail
Location: Mountain section – Pinnacle Hotel Road or river section – Hauser Road

Description:

This moderately sloped hiking and bridle trail meanders through pine and hardwood forests connecting the mountain section and river section of Pilot Mountain State Park. Parking lots for this trail are located at Hauser Road and Pinnacle Hotel Road.

Note: Horse and rider must remain on marked bridle trail. No horses may cross the Yadkin Valley Railroad. Horses may only be unloaded and trailers parked in the lots located at each end of the Corridor Trail (Hauser Road and Pinnacle Hotel Road parking lots).

 


Surface: natural surface

Length:
6.60 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous
Blaze:
white triangles

Grindstone Trail
Location: Mountain section - park office or upper summit parking lot

Description:

A moderately sloped trail through the woods to the summit parking area. Trail starts across the road from the park office and is to the right. Trail continues up through the woods to a rock building, where you will cross the main park road and hike out past the campground, where trail climbs the mountain through the woods to the summit. Trail joins the Ledge Springs Trail in last half mile, past the picnic area to the summit parking area. Vegetation on this trail changes with elevation. Parking for this trail is at the park office.

 


Surface: natural surface

Length:
3.00 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous
Blaze:
blue dots

Horne Creek Trail
Location: River section – Bean Shoals access

Description:

This moderately sloped hiking trail begins at the picnic area and meanders along Horne Creek, where many varieties of spring wildflowers can be found. The trail then closely follows the Yadkin River until it meets up with the Bean Shoals Canal Trail. You can make a 3.5-mile loop by returning to the picnic area on the park road.

 


Surface: natural surface

Length:
2.50 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate
Blaze:
blue dots

Ivy Bluff Trail
Location: River section – Ivy Bluff access

Description:

This trail has moderate to steep slopes covered with mountain laurel and rhododendron along the south edge of the Yadkin River. Trail begins at the Ivy Bluff parking lot.

 


Surface: natural surface

Length:
1.30 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate
Blaze:
red dots

Upcoming Events:

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