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Trails

The Pilot Knob at Pilot Mountain State Park. Photo by R. Hill.
Shuttle Service - 11/26, 11/27, and 11/28   

The shuttle will NOT be running 11/26/2021-11/28/2021. It is possible that the summit parking lot will reach capacity on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Expect delays. Refer to the Parking Alert for further information should you arrive and the summit area is at capacity.

 Last updated on: Friday, November 26, 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: Monday, November 22, 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.

 


Ivy Bluff access: Ivy Bluff Trail
Location: Ivy Bluff access

Description:

This 1.3-mile one-way trail has moderate to steep slopes, which are covered with mountain laurel and rhododendron, and follows the south edge of the Yadkin River.

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


Surface: natural surface, water crossings

Length:
1.30 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate hike
Blaze:
red circles

Mountain section: Grassy Ridge Trail
Location: Visitor center parking area or Pinnacle Hotel Road/Culler Road parking area

Description:

This moderate 1.5-mile one-way trail begins at the visitor center and can also be accessed from the Pinnacle Hotel Road/Culler Road parking area. The trail wanders through lowland pine and hardwood forests, crossing meandering streams with ample seasonal wildflower displays. This trail can be used to connect to the Corridor Trail or the Mountain Trail.

The 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

Mountain section: Grindstone Trail
Location: Visitor center parking area or upper summit parking area

Description:

This strenuous 3.5-mile trail leads one way to (and from) the visitor center. The trail starts across the road from the visitor center, continues past the old park office, the campground, and climbs the mountain through the woods to the summit. The trail ends at the summit picnic area. Vegetation on this trail changes with elevation.

The trail has a natural surface with rocks and roots. It also crosses creeks. The trail climbs uphill up the mountain when starting from the visitor center.


Surface: natural surface, water crossings

Length:
3.50 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous hike
Blaze:
blue circles

Mountain section: Jomeokee Trail
Location: Upper summit parking area

Description:

This trail travels 0.8 mile roundtrip around the base of the Big Pinnacle and is moderate in ability level. This trail starts at the upper side of the summit parking area. The trail crosses the gap to the Big Pinnacle, then makes a loop around the base and merges into the same trail to return across the gap. There are rare and interesting plants along this trail, as well as the tall, impressive cliff.

Climbing on the Big Pinnacle is prohibited. Please stay on the trail. The trail has a natural surface with rocks and roots, as well as rock steps.


Surface: natural surface, boulders, stairs

Length:
0.80 miles
loop
Difficulty:
moderate hike
Blaze:
none

Mountain section: Ledge Spring Trail
Location: Upper summit parking area

Description:

This is a very challenging 1-mile trail. The trail connects from Grindstone Trail and ends on the Jomeokee Trail. The trail travels along the foot of the cliffs and ledges to the west of Little Pinnacle.

The trail has a natural surface with roots and rocks, as well as rock steps. Hiking out and back from the summit parking area is approximately a 2-mile extremely strenuous hike.


Surface: natural surface, boulders, stairs

Length:
1.00 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous hike
Blaze:
yellow circles