Hike: Pilot Mountain-Ledge Spring Trail
Location: Pilot Mountain State Park
Nearby Town: Pinnacle, NC (25 minutes north of Winston-Salem)
Elevation (Max): 2,200'
Elevation Gained: 440'
Trailhead: From Winston-Salem: Take Route 52 N for 21 miles, take the Pilot Mountain Exit, turn left on Pilot Knob Park Road, turn left on Pilot Mountain Park Road and follow to the summit parking lot (you could park in the lot at the base and make the 4 mile hike up for a longer, more strenuous outing). Hit the trail from the southwest corner of the parking lot.
Web Site: http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/pimo/main.php
E and I decided to spend a day in the Triad region (as opposed to the Triangle, where we live, the Triad is made up of Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and High Point). We decided we would begin the day with a quick hike of Pilot Mountain which had been intriguing me since we saw its distinctive pinnacle on our Moore's Wall hike months earlier. The drive out to the mountain was pretty easy and the highway provided some nice head on views of the pinnacle.
When we got to the base of the mountain we were stopped next to the ranger residences and park office where we told the parking lot on the summit of Little Pinnacle was full so we could either drive up and wait or park at the base and hike up. Since we planned on making this a quick hike, we drove up. The road to the summit is narrow and windy with precipitous drops just off the road. We hit the line of traffic waiting to get to the summit lot with about a dozen cars ahead of us. Initially, we were discouraged, but cars left the summit lot at a fairly quick rate so we only waited about 15 minutes to get in.
Krispy Kreme, tour the Moravian village of Old Salem, and then walk the loop around Guilford Courthouse Battlefield in Greensboro. A good day in the Triad, indeed.