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The Pilot Knob at Pilot Mountain State Park. Photo by R. Hill.
** PARKING AREAS HAVE LIMITED CAPACITY **    

IF YOU ARRIVE AND A PARKING LOT IS FULL, CONSIDER THAT AREA CLOSED.  WHEN PARKING LOTS FILL THERE WILL BE NO WAITING IN LINE TO GET IN.  PARKING ON ROAD SHOULDERS IS PROHIBITED.  IF POSSIBLE PLAN YOUR VISIT ON A WEEKDAY WHEN THE PARK IS LESS CROWDED.

When the summit (upper) parking lot fills the road past the new visitor center will close to all uphill visitor traffic.  All downhill  traffic can leave freely, but no uphill visitor traffic will occur.  Visitors who arrive when the road to the summit is closed will have the option of parking at the new visitor center to hike, or visiting one of the other park accesses (if space is available).   

PARKING LOTS:
Mountain Section

Visitor Center parking – 200 cars – (Grindstone Trail, Grassy Ridge Trail, Mountain Trail)
Old Park Office parking  – 30 cars – (Grindstone Trail, Mountain Trail)
Summit (upper) parking  –  90 cars – (Jomeokee Trail, overlooks, Ledge Springs Trail)
Use the following lots to skip the crowds, take a longer hike, or visit the Yadkin River
Pinnacle Hotel Road – 50 cars  134 Culler Road, Pinnacle NC – (Access to the Mountain Trail and Corridor Trail, and Grassy Ridge Trail)
Pilot Creek Trailhead – 15 cars  382 Boyd Nelson Road, Pinnacle NC – (Access to the Pilot Creek Trail)
Bean Shoals/Hauser Road – 40 cars  622 Hauser Road, Pinnacle NC – (Access to the southern Corridor Trail, Horne Creek Trail, Canal Trail)
Ivy Bluffs Trailhead – 20 cars  4240 Shoals Road, East Bend, NC – (Access to the Ivy Bluffs Trail)
Ivy Bluffs canoe launch – 10 cars  4454 Shoals Road, East Bend NC – (Access to the Yadkin River paddle trail)

RESTROOMS, VISITOR CENTER:
Under COVID phase 3.0 the new visitor center gift shop and exhibit hall are open with a max capacity of 25 people. Bathrooms are open and available at the new visitor center in the breezeway and at the summit parking lot.

CAMPGROUND:
The Family Campground is currently closed.  Campground season is March 15th-November 30th.

FACE COVERINGS
Masks are required to visit the gift shop and exhibit hall in visitor center. Masks are required on trails if you are within 6 feet of anyone not from your household. Please wear a mask over nose and mouth when required. Park Rangers may write citations for failure to follow an executive order if individuals refuse to wear a mask when required.  

Please note that this alert is updated only when something changes. Generally, state parks are following the phased reopening statewide.

 Last updated on: Tuesday, December 29, 2020


Map of North Carolina – Pilot Mountain State Park


Contact the park
 

336-444-5100

pilot.mountain@ncparks.gov
 

Addresses
 

Mountain section
and visitor center

1792 Pilot Knob Park Road
Pinnacle, NC 27043

GPS: 36.3412, -80.4629

 

Pinnacle Hotel Road/
Culler Road parking

134 Culler Road
Pinnacle, NC 27043

GPS: 36.3280, -80.4631

 

Hauser Road parking

622 Hauser Road
Pinnacle, NC 27043

GPS: 36.2675, -80.4958

 

Pilot Creek access

382 Boyd Nelson Road
Pinnacle, NC 27043

GPS: 36.3587, -80.4933

 

Bean Shoals access

103 Yadkin River Park Trail
Pinnacle, NC 27043

GPS: 36.2647, -80.4878

 

Ivy Bluff access

4240 Shoals Road
East Bend, NC 27018

GPS: 36.2537, -80.5087

 

Shoals fishing area
and paddle access

4454 Shoals Road
East Bend, NC 27018

GPS: 36.2574, -80.5171
 

Hours
 

► 

  • 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
     
  • Gates are locked promptly at closing. There is no gate entry before or after hours, 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.
     

► 

  • October to February:

​Open daily:
8:00am to 4:00pm
 

  • March to September:

Open daily:
9:00am to 5:00pm
 

  • Closed Christmas Day
     

 

 

 

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 access: Bean Shoals Canal Trail
Location: Bean Shoals access or Hauser Road parking area

Description:

This 0.5-mile one-way sloped trail travels alongside the Yadkin River and passes the remains of the Bean Shoals Canal. In the 1820s, there was an attempt to build a canal around the shallow and rocky Bean Shoals, but it was never finished.

To reach the start of this trail by vehicle, you will have to drive through Horne Creek three times. Vehicles with high clearance are recommended. At the end of the park road, the trail starts next to the kiosk, crosses the railroad tracks, and turns right at the river. Please use caution when crossing the railroad tracks, as they are active.

This trail has a natural surface with rocks and roots.


Surface: natural surface, railroad crossings

Length:
0.50 miles
one way
Difficulty:
easy hike
Blaze:
red circles

Bean Shoals access: Corridor Trail
Location: Pinnacle Hotel Road/Culler Road parking area or Hauser Road parking area

Description:

This sloped, strenuous 6.6-mile hiking and bridle trail meanders through pine and hardwood forests connecting the mountain section and river section of Pilot Mountain State Park.

The parking lots for this trail are located at Pinnacle Hotel Road/Culler Road and at Hauser Road.

Please 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 may only be parked in the lots at each end of the Corridor Trail (at Pinnacle Hotel Road/Culler Road and at Hauser Road).

This trail has a natural surface with rocks and roots. It also crosses creeks.


Surface: natural surface, water crossings

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

Bean Shoals access: Horne Creek Trail
Location: Bean Shoals access or Hauser Road parking area

Description:

This moderate, sloped 2.5-mile one-way hiking trail begins at the picnic area and meanders along Horne Creek, where hikers can enjoy many varieties of wildflowers in the spring. The trail then closely follows the Yadkin River until it meets up with the Bean Shoals Canal Trail. Hikers can make a 3.5-mile loop by returning to the picnic area on the park road.

This trail has a natural surface with rocks and roots. It also crosses creeks.


Surface: natural surface, water crossings

Length:
2.50 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate hike
Blaze:
blue circles

Bean Shoals access: Yadkin Islands Trail
Location: Bean Shoals access or Hauser Road parking area

Description:

This moderate hiking and bridle trail begins at the Hauser Road parking area. The bridle portion of the trail ends at the intersection with Yadkin River Park Trail, which horseback riders can take back to make a 2-mile loop. The hiking portion of the trail is 1.5 miles one way, ending at the intersection with Bean Shoals Canal Trail.

Hikers may cross the river at your own risk to explore the islands in the river, which are unmarked and unblazed. Do not attempt to cross the river if you cannot see the bottom.

This trail has a natural surface with rocks and roots. It also crosses creeks.


Surface: natural surface, water crossings

Length:
1.50 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate hike
Blaze:
white triangles

Bean Shoals access: Yadkin River Park Trail
Location: Bean Shoals access or Hauser Road parking area

Description:

This moderate, 1.3-mile one-way, multi-use road begins at Hauser Road and ends at the turn-around parking area.

A high clearance vehicle is recommended when driving down this road.

This trail has a natural surface with rocks and roots. It also crosses creeks.


Surface: natural surface, gravel, water crossings

Length:
1.30 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate hike
Blaze:
unblazed