On May 5th, 2023, I visited Pilot Mountain State Park with my son and his girlfriend. It was a Friday afternoon, so the park was not super crowded. We first drove the winding road to the summit where we admired the views and snapped a few photos before driving back down to the visitors’ center parking lot where we parked to start our hike. We hiked Grindstone, Little Pinnacle and Jomeokee Trails. The hike is 7.7 miles, gradually climbing 1,558ft to the summit. Grindstone Trail (3.5 mi) is easy to moderate. It is well-marked, and well-maintained but lacks variety. It is basically a walk in the woods until reaching the overlook. I would only recommend it if you want to add a few exercise miles. The summit is where the magic happens. The overlook offers expansive, scenic views. It was a beautiful day so we could see far away (3,000 square miles according to the park’s web site). Little Pinnacle Trail leads to another perspective of the awesome views surrounding this park including Big Pinnacle, Sauratown Mountains, and Hanging Rock State Park
The trail I enjoyed most is Jomeokee Trail (on Alltrails but the Park’s trail info refers to it as Pilot knob Trail) especially as we looped around the base of the Big Pinnacle admiring views, cool rock formations, and wildflowers. We took Ledge Spring Trail (1 mi) on the way back. This rocky trail has a lot of roots. It ends on Grindstone. It is shared with mountain climbers. It was fun to watch them. It is a lot harder than I expected. One climber, Sam allowed me to photograph him as he scaled the mountain (Thanks Sam) you’ll see a few of his photos below. Note that Ledge Spring Trail is more technical than the other trails we hiked. It is rocky with quite a few steps making it a lot more interesting than Grindstone -in my opinion.
We hiked about 10 miles on this day. I enjoyed exploring Pilot Mountain State Park. It had been on my list for a while. The views are beautiful.
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