Pilot Mountain State Park, Pinnacle, NC

Pilot Mountain

Yes we are still in NC. Yes I know I live in Texas now. (you don’t know how sad that makes me.) Although farther from home it was a shorter time to get to Pilot Mountain then Hanging Rock so I think I ended up here more often. How could that be? Well it was basically all interstate highways going to Pilot Mountain and it was directly off the U.S. 52/I-74 corridor. Very easy trip. Pilot Mountain is 2421 Feet but on the trail you top out about 2300 feet as the dome is off limits to hikers and climbers. It is a National Natural Landmark and during the earlier years of the park damage was done by hikers and climbers. I have to say of NC State Parks this is one of the best and most beautiful. There are two sections with a connecting trail. I only went to the Yadkin River site once. It is protecting an area where there once was a canal being constructed around Bean Shoals of the Yadkin River. Nice but not story worthy.

There are two visitor centers in the park as you can drive nearly to the top of the mountain. But no-no. I am walking so I always started at the lower center.

Near the trail beginning from lower visitor center

The trail up Pilot Mountain is wide yet sometimes steep. Once near the top there is a social trail that will take you past many beautiful overlooks.

Overlook area Pilot Mountain

Once at the top near the parking area and summit visitor center you start seeing incredible views of the surrounding countryside and the Sauratown Mountains.

The Dome of Pilot Mountain. In the background-the Sauratown Mountains. Foreground is Sauratown Mtn and behind Moore’s Knob.

As you see from the above picture there is a trail going towards the dome. That trail leads you around the dome.

on the Dome at Pilot Mountain

The hike up then back down the mountain is about 7 miles. I always came back down on the Ledge Springs trail where you can watch and interact with the cliff climbers who are allowed in that area.

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