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Trails

The Pilot Knob at Pilot Mountain State Park. Photo by R. Hill.
Corridor Trail work weekdays June-Sept 2022   

Access to the Corridor Trail at Culler Road will be limited beginning the week of June 20, 2022. A stream restoration is being completed and the construction zone will include the trail. The Corridor Trail will be closed from the Culler Road parking lot heading south for 0.5 mile Monday-Friday. Access to the corridor trail from the Hauser Road parking area will still be available heading north for 6 miles up to the southern end of the construction zone Monday-Friday. Access to the corridor trail will not be interrupted on weekends. The estimated completion time for this project is early September 2022. If you have questions, please contact the park office 336-444-5100. 

 Last updated on: Monday, July 18, 2022

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 visitor center or visit another park access area. March-November, on weekends and holidays, you may only drive the road to the summit until that area reaches capacity. 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, a shuttle service is scheduled to be on-site to transport visitors to the summit lot and back. Shuttle tickets are sold by the vendor in front of the visitor center at the shuttle stop. Limited tickets are available. https://ncparks.gov/pilot-mountain-state-park/home#notices

 Last updated on: Wednesday, April 6, 2022


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

 

Pilot Creek access

382 Boyd Nelson Road
Pinnacle, NC 27043

GPS: 36.3587, -80.4933

 

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

 

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.
     

► 

  • December to February:

​Open daily:
8:00am to 4:00pm
 

  • March to November:

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.

 


Mountain section: Fiddlehead Trail
Location: Visitor center parking area

Description:

This easy trail begins and ends on the Grassy Ridge Trail, creating a short loop — perfect for a short walk and accessible from the visitor center parking lot.


Surface: natural surface, gravel

Length:
0.40 miles
one way
Difficulty:
easy hike
Blaze:
orange squares
Fiddlehead Trail at Pilot Mountain State Park



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 Pinnacle Hotel Road/Culler Road. 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:
yellow squares

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, runs above 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: Ledge Spring Trail
Location: Upper summit parking area

Description:

This is a very challenging 1-mile trail. The trail begins on the Pilot Knob Trail and ends on the Grindstone 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

Mountain section: Little Pinnacle Overlook Trail
Location: Upper summit parking area

Description:

This easy and short 0.1-mile trail leads to the Little Pinnacle Overlook, one of the best views in the park. Follow the path located south of the Pilot Knob Trail up a moderate grade to the overlook for a beautiful view of the Big Pinnacle, Sauratown Mountains, and Hanging Rock State Park to the east. On a clear day, one can view 3,000 square miles from this point. Located above a stone wall on the upper side of the summit parking area, the overlook is a great place to take pictures.

This trail has a natural surface with rocks and roots. Stone steps lead up to this overlook. There are two other overlooks on opposite sides of the summit parking area that can accommodate visitors with strollers, wheelchairs or limited mobility, one facing south and showing the Piedmont landscape, while the other faces the Blue Ridge Mountains.


Surface: natural surface, boulders, stairs

Length:
0.10 miles
one way
Difficulty:
easy hike
Blaze:
none