We’ve been trying to explore more North of Charlotte, since our tendency is to go to the familiar in the South and Southwest region (we frequent Greenville, SC and North Georgia A LOT).
Since North Carolina has over 40 state parks of it’s own (with no entry fee, what what!), our new gameplan is to go to a different park whenever we’re thinking “I’m bored” – something that tends to happen a lot for us, living in the city.
First up: Pilot Mountain State Park. An easy enough drive for us (I-85N to US 52N) and only 90 minutes away, Pilot Mountain is one of the most distinctive peaks in the area, rising high and visible from the highway. It’s got a handful of hiking trails, but is incredibly well known for it’s climbing. From the Ledge Springs Trail, you can access more than a dozen routes that are perfect for Trad and top rope climbing.
The day that we were exploring, we chatted with some climbers who said “busy day today” yet there were so many routes open. While we hiked, Matt scoped out the ones he wanted to return to tackle.
Camping is available at campsites, but they don’t allow backpacking. More than anything, the park offers beautiful views and gentle breezes. We enjoyed strolling on the Jomeokee Trail around the base of the Big Pinnacle, and looking at the various rock striations. Since we had Little Bear with us, we enjoyed letting him touch the rocks and feel the breeze and see the lizards running on the rocks. I’m a firm believer in raising children outside, and love seeing the joy and wonder on his face when the wind tickles his cheeks. It’s awesome.