By TMoM Team Member Suzy Fielders

Spring is the perfect time to go for a hike in the Triad. Outside of the occasional heat spike, most days the temperature is relatively mild. If you are like me and enjoy the mountains but not looking to go far, then Pilot Mountain is a must visit stop. The views are stunning and best of all it’s an easy hike for all ages. Even my teenage daughter loves visiting Pilot Mountain! I’ve been taking her there since she was a baby and it’s fun to see how she still enjoys it.

Things to Know

First, it’s important to know that Pilot Mountain is one of our North Carolina State Parks. That means there are certain rules to follow, and actions set in place to protect this nature park!

Here are a few more things to know before visiting:

  • There is no entrance fee.
  • The upper lot is sometimes full, but there is a shuttle up from the lower lot.
  • Not all the wildlife has grown back from the November 2021 fire. Those areas are closed off.
  • There is a bathroom at the top of the mountain.

Spring & Summer Hours:

  • Mountain Section – 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • River Section – 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Before Visiting Pilot Mountain

If you homeschool like us, or just want to teach your kids some fun facts, then it’s a great idea to discuss some Pilot Mountain facts before your visit. This Pilot Mountain State Park fact sheet provides a good start to learning about the mountain and park. It has a brief history and even talks about the flora and fauna of the park.

It’s always fun to discuss beforehand, then actually see this wildlife first-hand. There is nothing like real-life experience when it comes to learning!

What to Do at Pilot Mountain

Some favorite things to do at this state park are:

  • Checking out the view from the overlooks
  • Walking around the pinnacle
  • Climbing – for experienced climbers only, and must register
  • Paddling
  • Fishing

Many people visit the park and utilize the mountain, but fail to take advantage of the river area. This portion of the Yadkin River is great for paddling and fishing. Please note a state fishing license is required for anyone who chooses to fish.

Add-on to Your Pilot Mountain Day Trip

If your day trip is a temporary getaway from the kids, whether with mom friends or your significant other, then I highly recommend stopping at nearby Jolo Winery and Vineyards. This winery not only has amazing views of Pilot Mountain but has some delicious wine and food. They have a restaurant on-site as well. It’s only about 10 minutes from the state park.

There are also numerous campgrounds near Pilot Mountain State Park for families that want to extend their trip to a full weekend getaway!

While small, the town of Pilot Mountain is very cute and quaint. It has several small shops and restaurants in the downtown strip on Main Street. It’s also easily around a ten minute drive from the state park.

Want more Day Trip ideas? Click here!

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