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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.

 


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 hike
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 hike
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 hike
Blaze:
white triangles