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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 ending 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. Temporary 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: Sunday, January 12, 2020

***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.

 


Jomeokee Trail
Location: Mountain section - upper summit parking lot

Description:

A moderate trail with rock steps. 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. This trail starts at the upper side of the summit parking area.

 


Surface: natural surface

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

Ledge Spring Trail
Location: Mountain section – upper summit parking lot

Description:

A very challenging trail with rock steps. The trail begins at the Grindstone Trail and ends at the Jomeokee Trail. The trail travels along the foot of the cliffs and ledges to the west of the Little Pinnacle. The spring is just a trickle of water, but the walk below the cliffs is beautiful.

 


Surface: natural surface, boulders, stairs

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

Little Pinnacle Overlook Trail
Location: Mountain section – upper summit parking lot

Description:

100 yards long, up a moderate grade to the Little Pinnacle bluff 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. A great place to take pictures. Located above the stone wall on the upper side of the summit parking area.

 


Surface: natural surface

Length:
0.10 miles
loop
Difficulty:
easy hike
Blaze:
none

Mountain Trail
Location: Mountain section – park office or Pinnacle Hotel Road parking lot

Description:

A moderate rolling trail that connects to the Grindstone Trail to complete a 6-mile loop. Trail starts across the road from the park office and is to the left. Parking for this trail is at the park office. The Mountain Trail can also be accessed from the Pinnacle Hotel Road parking lot.

 


Surface: natural surface

Length:
4.30 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous hike
Blaze:
red dots

Mountains-to-Sea State Trail
Location: Mountain and river section

Description:

The Mountains-to-Sea State Trail passes through the park on the Corridor, Mountain and Grindstone Trails. The trail enters the park on the southern end of the Corridor Trail from the west and exits the park to the east.

For more information, please visit the NC Trails website.

 


Surface: natural surface

Length:

Difficulty:
Blaze:
white circles