Pilot Mountain State Park

Quick Facts

Pilot Mountain State Park

North Carolina

(336) 325-2355

Map Directions

Things To Do


Approach from any direction and see Pilot Mountain rising more than 1,400 feet above the rolling countryside of the upper Piedmont plateau. Dedicated as a National Natural Landmark in 1976, this solitary peak is the centerpiece of Pilot Mountain State Park.

Fun, from relaxation to exhilaration, is easy to find here. Treat yourself to a horseback ride through the woods or challenge the river from raft or canoe. A seven-mile woodland corridor joins two sections of the park, each section offering a wealth of opportunities for outdoor fun. The mountain segment, which includes the two pinnacles, contains most of the visitor facilities. The more primitive river section centers around the lazy, meandering Yadkin River.

Map of Pilot Mountain (NC)

Latitude, Longitude: 36.343614, -80.475197



  • Boating

    The 165-mile Yadkin River Canoe Trail follows the course of the river, passing through five reservoirs to the confluence of the Yadkin and Uwharrie rivers. There are 38 canoe access sites along the trail. Shoals Access Site is a half mile upstream from the Yadkin Islands. Parts of the river are also suitable for rafting at times. Contact the park office for more information. Canoe rentals not available.

  • Bicycling

    The main park road is popular for hill climbing by bicycle. This should only be attempted by experienced cyclists wearing proper safety equipment. The road averages a 10% grade for 2.5 miles and has sections of 16% grades. It is recommended that cyclists plan their ride for the early morning hours when there is less vehicle traffic. Use caution on the descent and be advised that bicycles are subject to the same regulations pertaining to motor vehicles, including exceeding safe speed and improper passing. There are no mountain bike trails in the park.

  • Camping

    The lower slopes of Pilot Mountain house the family camping area where 49 campsites for tents and trailers are scattered among oaks and hickories. Each site has a tent pad, table and grill. Drinking water is available throughout the campground, and two modern washhouses with hot showers are located nearby. Hookups are not provided. Firewood may be obtained for sale from local vendors, gathering wood in the park is not allowed. The maximum number of people who can occupy a site is six. Sites are open March 15 through November 30.

    On the north side of the Yadkin River, a camping area for youth groups includes tables, a fire circle and waterless toilets. Campers must carry in drinking water and firewood. This area is reserved for large organized groups.

    A canoe campsite on the north bank of the river is available by permit. No water or toilet facilities are provided. You must bring your own water and pack out all trash and waste. No camping is allowed on the Yadkin River Islands or anywhere within the River Section except in designated areas by permit. This area is reserved for canoeists traveling through the park on the Yadkin River Canoe Trail.

  • Climbing

    Rock climbing and rappelling are favorite activities at Pilot Mountain where rocky cliffs offer a challenge to experienced climbers. Climbing is permitted only in designated areas; climbing and rappelling are not permitted on the Big Pinnacle. Contact the park office for further information.

    All climbers must register with the park by completing a climbing and rappelling registration and activity permit which is available at the park office. There is no fee for this permit.

  • Fishing

    Cast your line from the river banks and reel in dinner. Sunfish, crappie and catfish are waiting to be caught! Anglers need a state fishing license and must obey the regulations of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

  • Hiking

    Little Pinnacle Overlook offers hikers a close-up view of Big Pinnacle and distant views of the valley below. Hikers 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.

  • Historic Sites

    Rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about Pilot Mountain State Park.

  • Horseback Riding

    Equestrians 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. 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. Trail closure status will be posted under "alerts" on the state park website and updated only when the status has changed. The phone number to call for trail closure information is 336-325-2355.

  • Picnicking

    Three picnic areas at Pilot Mountain offer a choice of shady dining spots. The picnic area in the Pilot Mountain section is located near the summit parking lot. Picnic tables and grills are surrounded by a pine and hardwood forest. Drinking water and restrooms are located nearby.

    Two picnic grounds in the Yadkin River section of the park are approximately a half mile from the shore of the river. Picnic sites on the north shore of the river are located in an open grassy area along Horne Creek. Tables, grills, drinking water and waterless toilets are provided. A similar facility is located on the south shore of the river.

  • RVing

    Campsites for trailers are available.



Pilot Mountain State Park is located in Surry and Yadkin counties, 24 miles north of Winston-Salem and 14 miles south of Mount Airy. From US 52, take the Pilot Mountain State Park exit and travel west into the mountain section of the park, where the park office is located.

The north River Section (Surry County) is 10 miles from the mountain section of the park. From US 52, take the Pinnacle exit and follow the signs to Horne Creek Farm. The park entrance is approximately .4 miles past the farm.

The south River Section (Yadkin County) is 20 miles from the mountain section of the park. Take NC 67 to the town of East Bend. From Main Street, turn right on Fairground Road. Turn right on Shady Grove Church Road, turn right on Shoals Road, and follow it to the park.

Phone Numbers


(336) 325-2355