- Pilot Mountain stands as a sentinel, alone, dominating the countryside below. The Indians called It "Jomeokee," meaning "Great Guide" or "Pilot." Early white settlers called it Mount Ararat for the mountain where Noah's ark came to rest after the flood.
Copyright: North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation
Pilot Mountain State Park
The Pilot is a quartzite monadnock, a mountain of resistant rock that has survived millions of years while the elements eroded the foothills around it. It is topped by two distinctive pinnacles. The Big pinnacle rises 1,400 feet , the knob jutting skyward more than 200 feet from its base. The less imposing Little Pinnacle can be reached by the main park road and a short foot path.
Park Hours: November-February 8 am- 6 pm; March and October 8 am- 7 pm; April, May and September 8 am - 8 pm; June to August 8 am - 9 pm. The Yadkin River sections of the park have different operating hours. Consult the signs at the gate or call the park office. Office Hours: 8 am-5 pm Monday-Friday. Gates will remain locked, except in emergency situations, when the park is not in operation. Please plan accordingly. The park is closed Christmas Day.
Recreation - This park is actually in two sections, connected by way of a 5-mile multi-use trail. Each section has something different to offer. The northern section offers mountain vistas, family camping, picnicking, hiking and equestrian trails while the southern section offers youth group camping, canoeing, picnicking, hiking, equestrian trails and a lovely old historical working farm.
The picnic area on the Pilot Mountain side is located near the summit parking lot surrounded by a pine and hardwood forest. Drinking water and restrooms are located nearby. Two picnic grounds in the Yadkin River section are about 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 pit toilets are provided. A similar facility is located on the south shore of the river. There is a shelter, accommodating up to 35 people and it may be reserved for a fee.
On the north side of the Yadkin River, a camping area for youth groups includes tables, fire circle, drinking water and pit toilets. Here organized youth groups can enjoy fellowship in a wilderness setting.
The lower slopes of Pilot Mountain house the family camping area where 49 campsites for tents and trailers are scattered among oaks and hickories. The camping area is open March 15th through November 30th.
Swimming is not permitted at Pilot Mountain, however, fishing is permitted in the Yadkin River for various sunfish and catfish and the occasional smallmouth bass. A North Carolina fishing license is required and all regulations of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission must be followed.
Canoeing and rafting are permitted in the Yadkin River. The Shoals Canoe Access is located at the south side of Yadkin River Section. The park does not rent canoes.
Guided hikes and nature programs are scheduled during the summer months. Special times can be arranged for outside groups.
Learn about rural life in the past by visiting Horne Creek Living Historical Farm. This state historic site is adjacent to the Yadkin River section of the park. The farm is an educational center dedicated to preserving North Carolina's rural heritage. Hands on programs are scheduled on the weekends from April through October. Special tours and educational programs may be arranged throughout the year by calling (336) 325-2298. Environmental Educational Learning Experience (EELE)--Jomeokee Geology. Grades: 9, 10, 11 and 12. Introduces students to "the mountains away from the mountains" and the geologic processes which formed them. Major concepts covered include: types of rocks and their physical properties, the rock cycle, geologic processes and weathering and erosion.
Drink machines found at park office and summit restroom.
Handicapped parking spaces are available at the office, summit picnic shelter, some picnic tables at the mountain overlooks, campground washhouses and a family camping site.
Climate - North Carolina has a temperate climate with mild winters and long fall and spring months. Summers can be hot and humid, especially in the piedmont and coastal plain region, which don't get relief from coastal breezes or higher elevations. The mountains tend to be substantially cooler and receive some winter snow.
In the Piedmont Region, winter daytime temperatures normally range from the upper 30's to the upper 40s. Summer daytime temperatures range from the high 70's to the low 90's. The state has a fairly wet climate with an average precipitation for this area averaging 44-52 inches (112-132 centimeters).
The park is located approximately twenty-four miles north of Winston-Salem and 14 miles south of Mount Airy off US 52. Yadkin River Sections are toward Yadkin Islands Park from Pinnacle and via NC 67 to East Bend then onto Shady Grove Road to SR 1546.