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Trails

The Pilot Knob at Pilot Mountain State Park. Photo by R. Hill.
Parking Lot Closure (Pilot Creek)   

The Bean Shoals and Ivy Bluff parking lots are now open following the maintenance closure; the Pilot Creek will open the morning of Saturday, October 23rd. Please do not park in front of gates.

 Last updated on: Friday, October 22, 2021

Parking Areas Have Limited Capacity   

PARKING
If you arrive and a parking lot is full, that area is closed to further traffic. Waiting in line is not permitted.  Parking on road shoulders is prohibited.  To avoid crowds, please plan your visit on a weekday.
If the road to the summit is closed to uphill traffic, you may park at the new visitor center or visit another park access area.  Learn more information about parking areas and alternate locations nearby that you can visit when the park is full »

SHUTTLE 
March-November on weekends and holidays you may only drive the road to the summit until the upper lot is full.  Once the lot has filled the road is closed to uphill visitor traffic. A shuttle service will be on-site to transport visitors to the summit lot and back. Shuttle tickets are sold in front of the visitor center at the shuttle stop. Limited tickets are available. Masks are required to ride the shuttle.  https://ncparks.gov/pilot-mountain-state-park/home#notices 

VISITOR CENTER
The visitor center gift shop and exhibit hall are open. Restrooms are open at the new visitor center in the breezeway and at the summit parking lot. Given the continued threat of COVID-19 and variants of the virus, face masks are required for indoor areas of Pilot Mountain State Park.

CAMPGROUND
Family Campground season is March 15th-November 30th. Reservations may be made by calling Reserve America at 1-877-722-6762 during call center hours or online through Reserve America until 8 pm on the day of arrival.  There are no walk-up sales. Please visit the Camping page to learn about the check-in procedures »

 

 Last updated on: Friday, October 15, 2021


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
*Entering this access requires crossing three shallow streams. Visitors may become stranded after rain.

 

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