After Kristen's Birthday Hike, we were still in the mood for some outdoor activities ( and I had a day off in the middle of the week!) so we decided to continue our hiking streak with another trip to pilot mountain!
Now, we felt a bit silly because pilot mountain and hanging rock are literally 20 or so minutes away from each other and we had just drove about an hour and a half to get to them two different days - but what we didn't fully correlate is that these two hikes are part of the mountains to sea trail that runs across North Carolina from the Appalachians to the coast at the outer banks! We had decided a while back that we would like to try and do more of the MST but in all honesty this Corona-virus has really thrown an hamper on us and most all of our summer plans ( So long Colorado! =\ ) and it now seems like a much better possibility for us while traveling long distance doesn't seem so possible.
![blogPics](/static/img/160/pano.jpg "Mt. Airy")
So we packed up and drove on over ( about 1.5 hours from Raleigh ish). We had done this hike about a year ago on my Birthday but at that time the hike was covered in Fog and Rain so we didn't get to see much. This time however, we had a brilliant day and the hike totally exceeded our expectations!
Since the State Park was actually closed, we couldn't park at the normal parking lot - so we went to an alternative spot as indicated on a sign post to the park. This was called the Pilot Creek lot - and it tacked on a 3 miles trek to the trail start at the park ( you could hike in but not park/drive to the top per normal). Along the way we had some beautiful colors and we found park of an old wagon maybe?!
![blogPics](/static/img/160/trailfind.jpg "Old wagon or car?")
Although the best part of the hike was towards the top. On our previous hike we stuck to the grindstone trail - but the real highlights come from the Ledge spring trail - this gives you a wonderful view of the country below pilot mountain and puts you right next to some awesome bluffs which are used for climbing.
![blogPics](/static/img/160/trailview.jpg "Trail opens to beautiful country view")
I've been told about the climbing here before but we've never made it out for it but after seeing it we are hoping to make it out this way again soon to try some outdoor climbing here!
![blogPics](/static/img/160/bouldering.jpg "Those are some good climbing walls!")
At this point we were stating to get pretty hungry, but before we stopped we took a trip around the Jomeokee Trail which actually goes around the entire big Pinnacle. Its a short little trail but it gives you nearly 360 of awesome views. Once we finished up for that we stopped and ate our infamous PB&J lunches (grape for me of course and strawberry for Kristen).
![blogPics](/static/img/160/lunch.jpg "PB&J time!")
Once lunch was done with, we packed up our trash and headed back to the pilot creek trail to get home. Overall we managed about 12 miles in about 5 hours (5.5 if you count lunch perhaps). This turned out to really be a top notch hike and beat out both of our expectations. its a great one to knock of your local hikes list!
![blogPics](/static/img/160/fromtop.jpg "Pilot Mountain")