Shop Reservations Newsroom

GO TO PARK

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

     

Weekend Crowds   

The park fills early and often during the fall. Weekends are pretty much a traffic jam from 10 am until 5pm.

Once the mountain is full no cars will be allowed in until there is enough parking spaces available to meet the demand.

On a average weekend day in the fall over 2000 cars try to utilize the mountain which has only 150 formal parking spaces. The rest of the park is not that busy! See bottom of page for info.

Roadside parking is prohibited. Drive through traffic is not possible when we are full. We suggest visiting on a weekday.  If you want a uninterrupted scenic drive, visit the nearby blue ridge parkway, a scenic roadway designed for the auto tourist: https://www.blueridgeparkway.org/

HIKERS : Please READ the following. These lots are seldom if ever crowded and do not require driving into the mountain and fighting traffic.  If you are arriving with a large group of friends to hike, avoid the frustration, plan ahead and USE THESE LOTS!:

Pinnacle Hotel Road parking lot     1459 Pinnacle Hotel Rd, Pinnacle, NC   (leads to mountain trail)
Hauser Road parking lot                  607 Hauser Rd Pinnacle, NC (leads to river section trails on north side of river, corridor trail)
Pilot Creek Access                          303 Boyd Nelson Road, Pilot Mountain, NC (pilot creek trail, leads to mountain)
Bean Shoals Access                        200 Yadkin River Park Trail, Pinnacle, NC (Leads to north side of the Yadkin and Canal Wall)
Ivy Bluff Access                              4454 Shoals Road, East Bend, NC (Leads to the south side of the Yadkin)
 

 Last updated on: Wednesday, November 6, 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.

 


Pilot Creek Trail
Location: Mountain section – Boyd Nelson Road

Description:

This trail starts at Boyd Nelson Road and ends at the family campground, where you can connect to the Grindstone and Mountain Trail to make a long loop around the mountain. The trail crosses tributaries of Pilot Creek and ascends through pine oak/heath forest to the campground. This trail was built by the friends group, Friends of Sauratown Mountains, at no cost to the park. A parking lot is located on Boyd Nelson Road. Parking at the campground is prohibited.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
3.30 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate
Blaze:
orange dots

Pilot Mountain Kids TRACK Trail
Location: Mountain section - upper summit parking lot

Description:

This trail offers scenic views of Pilot Mountain pinnacle and vistas of the surrounding mountains, leading hikers through a unique fire-based forest ecosystem. Trail has activities for children. Trail starts at the upper side of summit parking area behind the restroom.

 


Surface: natural surface

Length:
0.30 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate
Blaze:
TRACK trail markers

Yadkin Islands Trail
Location: River section - Bean Shoals access

Description:

This trail begins at the Hauser Road parking lot and ends at the Yadkin River. You may cross the river at your own risk to explore the islands in the river, which are unmarked/unblazed.

Do not attempt to cross the river if you cannot see the bottom.


Surface: natural surface

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