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Hiking

Hiking Trail

Pilot Creek access: Pilot Creek Meadow Walk

1792 Pilot Knob Park Road, Pinnacle

Explore and observe birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and more as you walk through the meadows above Pilot Creek. This mown path meanders through restored warm-season grass meadows and leads to a small farm pond where you can try your luck to catch catfish, bass, sunfish, and more (valid North Carolina fishing license required).

This path is a registered part of the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail and has been established to benefit native pollinators and grassland birds.

Mountain section: Little Pinnacle Overlook Trail

1792 Pilot Knob Park Road, Pinnacle

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 Jomeokee trailhead 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. Located on a stone wall on the upper side of the summit parking area, the overlook is a great place to take pictures.

Mountain section: Ledge Spring Trail

1792 Pilot Knob Park Road, Pinnacle

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.

Mountain section: Jomeokee Trail

1792 Pilot Knob Park Road, Pinnacle

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.

Mountain section: Grindstone Trail

1792 Pilot Knob Park Road, Pinnacle

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.

Mountain section: Grassy Ridge Trail

1792 Pilot Knob Park Road, Pinnacle

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.

Sand Path

240 Park Entrance Road, Seven Springs

The Sand Path is a generations-old farm path that leads to the park's four primitive group campsites. Beginning at the visitor center on the Longleaf Trail, following the Sand Path, then hiking the Spanish Moss Trail creates an almost 2-mile loop that ends up back at the visitor center. The path travels into a mixed pine and hardwood forest and borders a longleaf restoration area of the park. The trail may be traveled by vehicles at low speeds by group campers, so hikers must be aware of the dual-use.

Lake Trail

240 Park Entrance Road, Seven Springs

The 2-mile Lake Trail was opened to the public in June 2015. This trail is 3 feet wide and features a natural sand base that makes it ideal for hikers and joggers. The trail winds through a previously-unused forested section of the park and provides a good look at many mature white oaks, in addition to a variety of other hardwoods. With fewer loblolly and longleaf pines, hikers who look closely may glimpse historic remnants of dead longleaf stumps that were used in the naval stores industry between 1750 and 1875.

Galax Trail

240 Park Entrance Road, Seven Springs

The Galax Trail is one of the original trails installed following the park's 1945 inception. Hikers may access the Galax Trail from the creek crossing on Mill Creek or from the spillway crossing on the Lake Trail. If high water has closed Mill Creek crossing, the spillway crossing remains passable. The park's namesake, Galax urceolata, is a leathery, green-leafed plant that grows low to the ground in moist forested areas. The plant was used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes and later, by settlers, as an ornamental. This trail also features native wild ginger.

350 Yard Trail

240 Park Entrance Road, Seven Springs

The 350 Yard Trail is the park's shortest trail but remains the access to the park's signature natural feature: the 90-foot overlook that stands above a 90-degree turn in the Neuse River. For many years, this overlook was a major attraction for the residents of the Seven Springs area prior to the end of World War II, when the park was formed. The section of the path adjacent to the cliff features a well-packed gravel base and is ideal for those with limited mobility and those with mobility devices.